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“Governor Oops,” King of Jobs

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, known to his critics as “Governor Oops,” is laughing all the way to the head of the pack. Forbes’s list of the Ten Best Cities for Jobs, based on unemployment rate, job growth, and per capita income, has Texas cities nabbing the top four spots, as well as five of the top six. San Francisco is California’s lone entry, while New York and Chicago are left pressing their noses against the glass.

Critics have argued that the Texas jobs miracle is due to exploited, low-wage workers, but the data paints a much sunnier picture:

While Texas is a right-to-work state, many of the highest paying jobs in the Dallas area are with unionized defense manufacturers like Bell Helicopter and Lockheed Martin, which produces the F-35 Lightning II fighter at a mile-long plant in Fort Worth. […]

“People say it’s all low-pay jobs, so I looked at employment growth by wage quartile,” [Dallas Federal Reserve Economist Pia Orrenius] said. And guess what? Not only is the Dallas-area per-capita income of $39,548 comfortably above the national average of $37,000, but it’s growing fastest in the top half of wages above $16 an hour.

The wealth isn’t concentrated in booming Dallas. High paying jobs in the energy, tech, law, accounting, banking, and professional-services sectors are filling the high-rise office buildings of Houston, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio as well.

American entrepreneurs, take note. The cities that want you the most are the ones that are making it easiest for you to take risks and to succeed. New York and Chicago will always be home to a wonderful artistic and culinary culture, but they might not be the best places to build your future fortunes.

States are increasingly competing directly for talented workers and job-creators, and Texas appears to be pulling ahead.

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