In­flux

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS -

mist said.

Af­ford­able homes are in short sup­ply in both Texas and Cal­i­for­nia, but we fare bet­ter than our friends on the West Coast, ac­cord­ing to an anal­y­sis of 2015 data by the Na­tional Low In­come Hous­ing Coali­tion.

Texas has 51 af­ford­able and avail­able rental units for ev­ery 100 house­holds that are mak­ing half of the area me­dian in­come or less. That’s four units be­low the U.S. num­ber. Mean­while, Cal­i­for­nia has 30 units for ev­ery 100 house­holds in that in­come range.

When it comes to hous­ing avail­abil­ity for the ex­tremely poor, we still do bet­ter than Cal­i­for­nia. Texas has 29 af­ford­able and avail­able rentals for ev­ery 100 fam­i­lies mak­ing 30 per­cent or less of the area me­dian in­come. Cal­i­for­nia has 21.

Num­bers from real es­tate com­pany Zil­low show the gap in hous­ing costs is clear to any­one shop­ping for an apart­ment. Rent­ing a one-bed­room apart­ment in the Sacramento area — Cal­i­for­nia’s fifth-largest metropoli­tan area — costs about the same in Dal­las-Fort Worth, the big­gest ur­ban cen­ter in Texas and one of its costli­est hous­ing mar­kets.

But Dal­las-Fort Worth’s me­dian rent for a one-bed­room unit — $1,125 in Jan­uary — is hun­dreds of dol­lars lower than that of nine metropoli­tan ar­eas in Cal­i­for­nia.

The jobs with the big­gest net loss of Cal­i­for­nia work­ers to other states were cashiers, cooks, truck driv­ers, ma­te­rial movers, re­tail sales reps and cus­tomer ser­vice reps, the Bee’s anal­y­sis found.

Even San Fran­cisco, the state’s best em­ploy­ment mar­ket, is get­ting tens of ap­pli­cants for cashier and restau­rant jobs, the news­pa­per re­ported.

Those Cal­i­for­ni­ans could find many open­ings here, ac­cord­ing to 2014-24 pro­jec­tions from the Texas Work­force Com­mis­sion. All the oc­cu­pa­tions men­tioned above are among a list of 25 pre­dicted to add the most jobs over the decade.

Texas weath­ered the oil slump last year through em­ploy­ment gains in other in­dus­tries, such as leisure and hospi­tal­ity, where jobs grew 3.5 per­cent from 2015 to 2016. We added a to­tal of 210,200 jobs over the course of the year.

Gaines, the econ­o­mist, said mov­ing to a place for a lower cost of liv­ing is no good if there are no jobs there.

“We also have a vi­brant econ­omy that of­fers em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­nity to a lot of peo­ple up and down the spec­trum,” he said, “from low in­come to high in­come, from low tech to high tech.”

Cal­i­for­nia’s tech sec­tor is also eye­ing Texas with in­ter­est, Gaines said. Even in Sil­i­con Val­ley, many peo­ple earn mid-level salaries and can’t af­ford Cal­i­for­nia’s soar­ing cost of liv­ing, he said.

Among the fastest-grow­ing oc­cu­pa­tions in Texas are web de­vel­op­ment and sev­eral in health ser­vices, ac­cord­ing to the 2014-24 state pro­jec­tions. Web de­vel­oper jobs are ex­pected to grow by 37 per­cent over that decade.

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