Following up to Part 1 of the “Working World: Top 10 Labor Markets in the U.S. post,” we’ll complete this task by examining the remaining top five labor markets with the lowest unemployment rates in the United States. Will a healthy job market result in a prosperous housing market for these areas? Let’s find out!

4. The Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA market ties for fourth place with a 5.9 percent unemployment rate.  Seattle, WA, a major coastal seaport city and the largest city in the Pacific Northwest region, is one of the “fastest-growing cities in the nation[i].” Noticeably, a healthy job market helped fuel population growth in this area. What impact does it have on the housing market? The Seattle market appeared on our Local Market Index Report with a 2.33 index point increase for April from the month before. Additionally, the median list price found on for this city is $375,000[ii].


4. The Birmingham metropolitan area tied with Seattle and also reported a 5.9 percent unemployment rate. Birmingham, AL, home to six Fortune 500 companies, was considered at one point the primary industrial center of the South[iii]. Now, this market flourishes with approximately one quarter of the state’s population. For those looking to move here and add to the population number, the median asking price in this city is $150,000.


3. The Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX market ranks third with a 5.8 percent unemployment rate. Austin, TX also ranked third in the top rebound markets from the Rebound Report and recovered over 200 percent of the peak-to-trough decline in home prices attributable to the U.S. housing bubble. Because of this “larger than life” rebound, this city recently appeared in our Everything is Bigger in Texas post, and is among the U.S. cities that added the most in population, with just over 25,000 residents added over the year. Compared with many other metros, the current median listing price in this area also reflects this “big” nature at $429,000.


2. Another U.S. state capital, Oklahoma City, OK, ranks second with a 5.4 percent unemployment rate. Like its predecessor, this market appears in our top rebound markets and with over a 200 percent rebound in home prices as of May. This city’s median asking price for homes for sale is a very affordable $135,000; however, it’s apartments that are considered “hot” now by investors in this area. According to Commercial Realty Resources owner, Mike Buhl, the Oklahoma City’s “multi-family investment market is seeing sustained high prices because investors just keep coming[iv].”


1. The market with the lowest unemployment rate is the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI metro area and reports the lowest unemployment rate of 5.1 percent, which is also 2.5 percent below the national rate. “Containing America’s fifth-highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies[v],” the Twin Cities housing market is notably improving with conditions favoring a sellers’ market as pending sales rose “to their highest level in eight years[vi].” If you’re looking for a home to buy in this area, Minneapolis, MN has a median list price of $220,000, while Saint Paul, MN is even lower at $190,000.

Generally, many of these U.S. metros share some of the same characteristics. In addition to sharing low unemployment rates, many are centrally located state capitals, home to Fortune 500 companies, and have a thriving real estate market; perfectly illustrating the old saying that “without labor nothing prospers.” Are you considering a job in any of these top labor markets? Start your search for a place to live on!


[i] Wikipedia, Seattle

[ii] Calculated on active residential property listings found on as of July 28,2013

[iii] Wikipedia, Birmingham, Alabama

[iv] NewsOK, The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City apartments still hot with investors, Richard Mize, August 10, 2013

[v] Wikipedia, Minneapolis

[vi] StarTribune, housing, Twin Cities housing market now in sellers’ favor, Jim Buchta, June 12, 2013

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