Houston suburbs among America’s best job markets

In a surprising turn of events, it’s not Houston proper that’s gaining recognition for its job market, but Woods. The northern suburbs of Houston have the No. 24 best job market in the country, according to a new report from SmartAsset.

The study examined 343 U.S. cities across six primary data points from 2021 and 2022, for which the most recent data is available: a city’s unemployment rates; the median income-to-housing payment ratio, commute times, percentage of remote workers, percentage of employed residents with health insurance, and income growth between 2019 and 2022.

The report found that The Woodlands has an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent and the median income of its residents is $73,079 per year. Average housing costs in The Woodlands represent 28.7 percent of an individual’s annual income, which can be estimated at approximately $1,750 per month.

The flexibility of remote work was another major consideration in the study. Working from home doesn’t mean real commute time, until you count the time it takes to get out of bed and commute to the home office. Unfortunately for The Woodlands, the majority of workers commute to their jobs and only 24.5% of employees work remotely.

For those who must drive to work, a separate SmartAsset study on remote workers found that the average commute time in The Woodlands is about 27 minutes.

Houston is far behind in the report, ranking 272nd out of 343 total U.S. cities. The city’s unemployment rate is just 5.9 percent, but its residents’ median income is just over $38,000 a year. Only 11.5 percent of Houstonians work from home, and their housing costs represent 39.4 percent of their total income.

Houston ranked outside the top 20 best cities for tech workers earlier in 2024, further highlighting a significant decline in the region’s job climate.

“With the cost of living skyrocketing in recent years and demand for different skills changing, job seekers must be resourceful to find the opportunities that best suit them,” the report said. . “This could mean moving for higher income, better work-life balance, growth potential, or benefits.”

Other Houston-area cities that made the report’s top 200 are:

  • No. 99 – Land of sugar
  • No. 113 – Pearl
  • No. 172 – League City

The full report and its methodology are available on


This article was originally published on CultureMap.