|Map Key: Median Annual Household Income by Region|
|Upper Income Region||$79,000 - $90,000|
|Upper-Middle Income Region||$66,000 -$78,000|
|Middle Income Region||$61,500-$65,500|
|Lower-Middle Income Region||$57,000 - $61,000|
|Low Income Region||$21,000-$54,000|
The Dallas-Ft. Worth region is one of the fastest-growing job markets in the U.S., welcoming hundreds of thousands of people from Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and coastal cities as they flee the high cost of living and scarce housing stock.
“Dallas is pulling away economically from the nation’s long-established urban centers because of a distinctive policy orientation: growth-friendly, with lighter-touch business regulation and lower taxes than longtime urban centers in the Northeast, the Midwest or California,” states a 2021 article in the urban planning trade publication City Journal.
Looking at data from the U.S. Census, we can see that most of the metro area has a high median household income ($79,000 to $90,000 per year).
Central and south Dallas, however, are more economically depressed – part of the state’s legacy of segregation, according to City Journal.
The parts of the Dallas metro area that experienced the most growth over the last decade are Denton and Collin counties, to the north of the city. These suburban regions are even less expensive than Dallas proper, and housing stock and infrastructure favors young families.
Dallas Job Market Facts and Observations
- Average salaries in Dallas across the 250-plus positions SkillsetGroup’s Salary Guides track are much lower than those in California, but still significantly higher than workers could demand in the surrounding rural areas of Texas.
- Because the Dallas cost of living is 6% below the nationwide average, each employee’s dollar goes much further than in California (40% above the national average).
- For instance, a payroll supervisor in Dallas will earn an average of $59,500 in 2023 versus $71,000 in the Los Angeles metro area.
Dallas-Ft. Worth’s Growing IT Sector
DFW is host to one of the largest pools of information technology talent outside Silicon Valley.
- IT salaries, according to our SkillsetGroup recruiters, are coming in at roughly 20% higher across the board than pre-pandemic levels.
- You can still make the most money in IT in San Francisco and along the California coast, but Dallas is catching up.
- For example, a DevOps engineer in California will average roughly $190,200 per year versus $137,200 in Dallas.
Going forward as remote work grows more popular, however, SkillsetGroup predicts salary levels for knowledge positions like IT and engineering will begin to equalize across certain metro areas – especially within a single state – becoming less closely linked with regional cost-of-living and income measures.
Is Texas Sliding into an Economic Slowdown?
Though the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank’s research division predicts a slowing economy statewide in 2023, Dallas-Ft. Worth remains an excellent place to do business. The only cause for concern are minor reversals in unemployment numbers and job openings throughout the state in August of 2022, but the Fed still reports robust economic activity in the Texas's growing metro areas. Dallas-Ft. Worth hosts to a massive cohort of young families and a growing, highly educated group of foreign-born immigrants – mostly prime working-age individuals.
- From 2010 through 2020, the Dallas-Ft. Worth metro area saw 430,000 people move in, from other parts of the U.S. alone, states City Journal.
These groups are drawn in by the relatively inexpensive housing and influx of business headquarters moving to Dallas – firms like Charles Schwab, State Farm, Liberty Mutual and other financial players have opened large operations there in the last 20 years, as well as big tech and logistics firms, among other industries.
CBRE, Tenet Healthcare, Jacobs Engineering and Toyota Motor North America are just a few of the big players who’ve moved headquarters to Dallas-Ft. Worth, according to City Journal.
And we can’t forget SkillsetGroup opened its Texas headquarters in Irving in 2020, centering its IT staffing and consulting division there.
Pia Orrenius and Ana Pranger
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank research division
Joel Kotkin and Cullum Clark