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Bureaucracy-fattened D.C. loses jobs title to tech-powerhouse Austin

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets

Taxpayers have made Washington a jobs engine during the recession, but a new survey reveals that D.C. has taken a backseat in the jobs race to tech-heavy Austin, Texas, where private companies like Dell, IBM and Google are fueling an employment renaissance.

A new survey finds that despite adding 300,000 government jobs during the recession, half under President Obama, Washington's growing bureaucracy can't keep pace with Texas' hub of private-industry.

The group NerdWallet used a calculator to determine the best city for jobs around the nation, based on population growth, income, unemployment rate, and the cost of living.

Washington came in second, helped by the federal safety net. Said NerdWallet, "D.C. has had a significant population growth as well, and the median income is much higher than most cities. Although the unemployment rate and cost of living are high, the significantly higher-than-average median income makes the city more affordable for job-seekers. At the heart of American politics, D.C. attracts aspiring public servants for numerous jobs with politicians and think tanks."

Five Texas cities were on the top 10 list:

Top ten cities for job-seekers

1. Austin, TX

With the highest percent growth in population and the lowest unemployment rate, Austin is a clear winner as the best choice for job-seekers. The median income is moderately high, and the cost of living is low. Job-seekers should check out this fast-growing city, particularly for jobs in the burgeoning tech industry. Large tech companies such as Dell and IBM are headquartered there, and companies like Apple and Google have offices there as well. Biotechnology is a growing field in Austin as well.

2. Washington, DC

DC has had a significant population growth as well, and the median income is much higher than most cities. Although the unemployment rate and cost of living are high, the significantly higher-than-average median income makes the city more affordable for job-seekers. At the heart of American politics, DC attracts aspiring public servants for numerous jobs with politicians and think tanks.

3. San Francisco, CA

San Francisco's high cost of living is matched by its relatively high median income. With Silicon Valley nearby, San Francisco has become a tech hub in recent years, and its population growth indicates this city is home to many transplants. Tech and tourism dominate the job market in San Francisco, and tech giants such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, Yelp and Dropbox are located in or just outside the city.

4. Denver, CO

With a 3.3% growth in population over recent years, Denver is an up-and-coming city. Although the unemployment rate is fairly high, the relatively low cost of living improves the odds that a job-seeker can afford to live there. Denver's top industries include aerospace, broadcasting and telecommunications, energy and healthcare. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory is located in Golden, CO, and employment in the healthcare industry has increased by 23% in the last 5 years.

5. Houston, TX

Houston's recent high population growth and moderately low unemployment rate shows that this city is extremely friendly to job-seekers. With its low cost of living, the city is affordable for new residents and renters. Houston is a hub for healthcare research, manufacturing, aerospace (the city is home to a NASA research center) and alternative energy.

6. Fort Worth, TX

Fort Worth's upsurge in population, low unemployment rate and low cost of living make it a great place for job-seekers. Although the median income is low, so is the cost of living. Fort Worth is home to American Airlines and employs many in the airline and manufacturing industries.

7. Dallas, TX

Texas sweeps the board with perks for job-seekers, and Dallas is no exception. With a low cost of living and low unemployment rate, the city is friendly to job-seekers. Known as the "Silicon Prarie," Dallas is home to many tech companies, and it's very near the Telecom Corridor, a hub for telecommunications manufacturing.

8. Seattle, WA

The home of Microsoft, Seattle is a hub for tech jobs. With a high median income, low unemployment rate and moderately high cost of living, Seattle is a great option for job-seekers. The key industries in this city are biotechnology and healthcare, with one out of every five jobs linked to the healthcare industry sector. The city is focused on green initiatives, and there are plenty of green building and clean technology startups as well.

9. San Antonio, TX

San Antonio has a very low unemployment rate and a low cost of living, making it a better option than most for job-seekers. San Antonio is rapidly growing in the field of cybersecurity and information technology, with more than 80 information-technology and cyber-related business in the city. San Antonio's economy is focused on financial services, healthcare and defense. The defense industry employs over 89,000 San Antonio residents.

10. Charlotte, NC

Charlotte's upsurge in population, coupled with the moderately high median income and low cost of living, make this an ideal city for job-seekers. Charlotte's major industries include banking (Bank of America is located there), motorsports (multiple NASCAR offices are housed there) and defense.