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The Best City For New Jobs

Thursday, 18 Mar 2010 | 11:25 AM ET
Austin, Texas
Jeremy Woodhouse | The Image Bank | Getty Images
Austin, Texas

Young guns can make a name for themselves in the Lone Star State.

A new study by Portfolio.com names Austin, Texas, as the best market in the country for young adults.

The news comes as Austin is hosting the annual South by Southwest conference, better known as SXSW, where CNBC's Julia Boorstinis reporting on the latest in original music, independent films and technology.

SXSW's motto—"Tomorrow Happens Here"—symbolizes an energy renewal of sorts in the Texas capital, as Portfolio.com says the Southwest is "re-establishing itself as a destination for those in their 20s and 30s looking for opportunities during the recession."

I know a young PR/marketing executive who just pulled up stakes after years in Orange County to move to Austin. "I'm bored with LA," he told me. He also needs work. Go east, young man. Portfolio.com says Austin has added nearly 100,000 jobs in the last five years and its employment is growing nearly three percent a year.

That's the fastest job growth in the country.

Behind Austin, Portfolio.com ranks Washington, D.C., Raleigh, Boston, and Houston as the other hot markets for young professionals. Dallas-Fort Worth, Oklahoma City, and Tulsa are also in the top ten, leading the publication to call the Southwest the best region, though I don't know anyone who considers OKC and Tulsa part of the Southwest.

The worst market for young professionals is Detroit, followed by Cleveland, Dayton, Tampa-St. Petersburg, along with Riverside-San Bernardino in California's "Inland Empire".

While Austin may provide the best market opportunities for young entrepreneurs, it is not where the wealthiest young people live. Portfolio.com analyzed data from cities to determine which have the the largest percentage of households headed by someone under the age of 45 earning at least $100,000 a year. Coming is first is San Jose, in Silicon Valley, where 48 percent of those young households break the six figure mark. Bridgeport-Stamford, CT, comes in second at 41 percent, followed by San Francisco-Oakland at 39 percent, Washington, D.C., at 39 percent, and Oxnard-Thousand Oaks, CA at 34 percent (must be all those scientists at Amgen).

So while the opportunities are in Texas, the money is still on the coasts. We'll have to see in another five years whether some of that money moves inland. Maybe then Texas really can secede.

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

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  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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