If ample job opportunities are a key factor in your search for a new place to put down roots, look no farther than the Lone Star State.
To determine the best place to live for job growth, we drew on data from our 2021 Best Place to Live list — homing in on places where Moody’s Analytics projects significant job growth by 2025 on top of major gains in recent years.
Among cities with a population size between 50,000 and 500,000, Rockwall, Texas, tops the list. (We excluded major cities to pay homage to towns that don’t often get the spotlight.)
With a population just north of 51,000, Rockwall offers the perks of small-town living with the conveniences of being part of the Dallas-Fort-Worth metropolitan area. And its local job market is primed for meteoric growth. By 2025, Moody’s expects Rockwall’s job growth to boom by more than 23%. That’s an increase from already handsome growth of more than 18%, between 2015 and 2020.
Additionally, Rockwall’s unemployment rate has also trended lower than the region and Texas as a whole, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Unemployment in Rockwall soared in April 2020 to 11.7% but has now rebounded — shrinking down to 3.6% in November 2021. Meanwhile, Texas’s unemployment rate sits at 4.5% and the metro area’s rate is 3.9%. (Note: For comparison’s sake, these BLS figures are not seasonally adjusted like national unemployment stats due to pandemic-related limitations in agency unemployment data for cities and local areas.)
Rockwall prides itself on a diverse economy. The Rockwall Economic Development Corporation (REDC) says the city is home to major private employers across several industries including advanced manufacturing, corporate services, food distribution and research and development.
Notable companies in Rockwall include the international baked-goods distributor Bimbo Bakery, aerospace and defense contractor L3Harris and the frozen-food manufacturer Pegasus Foods. Beyond the big-name companies, Rockwall’s downtown district fosters a folksy vibe, with locally owned restaurants, bakeries, antique shops and other small businesses.
That all translates into healthy earnings for the locals. Rockwallians rake in a median household income of $109,138 — comfortably above the state’s median of $66,063.
The city is far from a one-trick pony: There’s much more to love than just its economy. In fact, Rockwall came in at No. 4 on our overall Best Places to Live list in 2020, which included non-economic ranking criteria like amenities, health and safety, entertainment and more.
Nestled along the eastern shore of the massive Lake Ray Hubbard in North Texas, Rockwall boasts the benefits of harbor life despite being situated in a landlocked region of the state. Take Route 30 over the Lake Ray Hubbard Bridge, and you’ll find yourself in downtown Dallas in about 20 to 30 minutes, meaning additional job opportunities and entertainment options are just a short commute away.
Texas cities, in general, offer impressive job growth. Of the 10 cities with the overall highest job growth, seven are located in the Lone Star State. And of all the small- and mid-sized cities we analyzed, 24 towns in Texas are projected to have 20% job growth or higher by 2025. Some honorable mentions in the state include Brushy Creek, Canyon Lake, Forney, Flower Mound, Kyle and New Braunfels.
This year, Flower Mound also ranked fourth on our list of the Best Places to Live, the highest-ranking Texas location on the list. Overall, three Texas towns broke our top 50.