The Business Insider analysis shows San Jose (Silicon Valley) ranks as the top economy among the country’s 40 largest metro areas, followed in second place by the San Francisco metro area, its next-door neighbor. Coming in at No. 3 is the Austin metro area! Below is a recap of the analysis which includes Austin being home to the University of Texas, creativity and a robust job market.
Business Insider says Austin had the second highest rate of job growth among the 40 largest metro areas, with employment rising 3.7 percent between February 2017 and February 2018.
William Mellor, vice president of Austin-based economic development consulting firm AngelouEconomics, says he views the Austin area as being No. 2 in the rankings, since the San Francisco and San Jose metros are essentially lumped together as one giant Silicon Valley.
Mellor says the Austin area is benefiting economically from an exodus of businesses and people from high-cost Northern California.
“Austin is still relatively affordable compared with Silicon Valley, both in terms of cost of living as well as the tax and operating environment,” he says.
3. Austin-Round Rock, TX
Austin, home of the University of Texas' flagship campus, has always been known as a draw for creative and individualistic thinkers.
Austin had the second-highest rate of job growth among the 40 largest metro areas, with non-farm payroll employment increasing 3.7% between February 2017 and February 2018. The region's February 2018 unemployment rate of 3.0% was tied for third-lowest, and its 2016 GDP growth rate of 4.9% was the third-highest.
2. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
San Francisco is one of the two metro areas that make up the heart of Silicon Valley, and the city itself is home to 13 Fortune 1000 companies, including Wells Fargo, Gap, and Salesforce.
San Francisco's Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $1,654, its February 2018 unemployment rate of 2.9%, its 2016 GDP growth rate of 5.4%, and its 2016 GDP per capita of $100,132 were all the second-best among the 40 largest metro areas.
1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
San Jose is the other major Silicon Valley metro area, and like its peer San Francisco, big tech has provided much economic activity to the area. Tech giants like Cisco, Ebay, and PayPal are all headquartered in the city.
San Jose held the top position among the 40 largest metro areas in three of our five metrics: Its Q3 2017 average weekly wage of $2,297, 2016 GDP growth rate of 5.9%, and 2016 GDP per capita of $126,820 were all best among the nation's big cities.