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Published on June 12, 2024
The Woodlands Rockets to Top U.S. Job Market Rankings, Outshines Houston According to SmartAsset StudySource: Google Street View

In an economic landscape where job markets wax and wane, The Woodlands has emerged not only as a leader in the Houston area but also on a national scale. SmartAsset has ranked the Houston suburb 24th out of 343 U.S. cities, as per recent studies published to the public. This puts it well ahead of Houston, which ranked at a lagging 272 according to the Houston Chronicle, a study that marked Houston's job market as trending downwards.

With an unemployment rate settling at 4.8 percent, The Woodlands boasts a fairly robust job market complemented by a median individual earnings of $73,079, the SmartAsset report highlighted. However, even with these promising figures, the reality of housing payments still gnaws at the wallet, claiming up to 28.7 percent of a resident's yearly income, or about $1,750 per month. This percentage, while notable, is significantly lower than Houston's, where housing costs swallow 39.4 percent of total income, according to InnovationMap.

The study also shed light on commuting patterns and remote work. The Woodlands dangles an average commute time of 27 minutes, a figure subjectively more palatable when juxtaposed against Houston's larger metropolitan sprawl. Despite the push towards a work-from-home culture, in The Woodlands, only a quarter of the workforce, or 24.5 percent, report they work remotely—pointing to a majority who still travel to their places of business, as sourced from the Houston Chronicle.

Gil Staley, chairman of The Woodlands Area Economic Development Partnership, spoke to the record-breaking job growth of 2023 in an area that was envisioned to have 1.5 jobs per household. "(We have) low unemployment and we created jobs year over year, last year being a record year," Staley stated about the township's economic performance. There are other markets that have been built residentially because of the job market here. You can find affordable housing — it may be further away from our center of jobs, but it's still very much available," according to the Houston Chronicle report.

Other Houston-area cities such as Sugar Land, Pearland, and League City managed to secure spots within the top 200 of the SmartAsset ranking. In particular, Sugar Land came in at No. 99, Pearland at No. 113, and League City at No. 172, illustrating a varied landscape for job markets across the Houston metropolitan area. The outcomes from SmartAsset's study suggest that job seekers may want to factor in the quality of local job markets, like that of The Woodlands, when considering relocation for employment opportunities or settling in a community with a beneficial economic foundation.