Houston #1 for growth, software pay; top 10 for green techThanks to a forward from Hugh and Wendell, I came across these interesting stats on Houston's spectacular growth lately. This one, on overall residential build rates in 2006, has Houston at number one in the nation with 71,257 residential building permits in the MSA in 2006, ahead of Atlanta (68K), DFW (56K), NYC (61K), Chicago (46K), Phoenix (43K), LA (33K), and SF (13K). NYC and LA are especially weak given their enormous size. We also top the list when measuring single-unit building permits, with 55K. We're not #1 on a percentage growth basis (vs. absolute numbers), but we're in the top 7 on both lists. There's also another table that talks about percentages of single-unit permits vs. totals, where we seem to have a nice balance at 77%.
Another interesting ranking I was recently forwarded (thanks Jack), has Houston as the #4 city in the country for software developer pay ($89K), #1 on a cost-of-living adjusted basis ($103K purchasing power). As you would expect, SF Bay is tops for raw salaries, but they fall from the top 10 to the bottom 10 once cost-of-living is taken into account. Texas does incredibly well on the CoL adjusted list, with all of the top 5 and 6 of the top 7 (only Charlotte NC sneaks in there). Don't underestimate the power of low cost-of-living with a strong and relatively high-paying job base.
|Top 10||Bottom 10|
|2||Austin||$ 93,844||2||San Francisco||$44,937|
|3||Fort Worth||$ 91,614||3||San Diego||$48,181|
|4||Arlington||$ 91,614||4||New York||$50,492|
|5||El Paso||$ 85,741||5||Oakland||$51,428|
|7||Dallas||$ 84,489||7||San Jose||$51,693|
|8||Jacksonville||$ 81,928||8||Los Angeles||$53,948|
|9||Colorado Springs||$ 81,850||9||Long Beach||$53,948|
|10||Atlanta||$ 80,565||10||Virginia Beach||$55,980|
El Paso over Dallas? Who would have guessed?
Finally, a ranking you definitely wouldn't expect: Houston in the top 10 cities for green technology innovation. Yes, we're just a "runner up" to the top 5 of Austin (#1), Boston, and CA, but it's still not bad to be in the same group with SF, San Diego, and Seattle. I'm not usually a fan of SustainLane's rankings, but it's nice to see Houston taking its role as "energy capital" seriously when it comes to alternative energy as well as oil and gas. Richard Florida blogs on the ranking, including a couple Houston-specific comments:
Not sure how "racial-ethnic segregation" changes "creativity" (sounds fishy to me), but it's nice to see some kind words for Houston in the creative class discussion for a change.