Millennials are now the largest generation in America’s labor force, and Lubbock, Texas, has become one of the top cities in the U.S. where millennials are moving, according to SmartAsset.1,2 Why are more and more millennials choosing the “Hub City” to settle down and launch their career? Evidence shows its strong job market, low cost of living, social opportunities, and quality of life keep attracting young professionals to this city known as a health care hub and home to Texas Tech University.
Lubbock boasts a strong job market. Over the past five years, the number of jobs in Lubbock County increased by 10,266. That’s a 7.2% growth rate, which outpaces the national growth rate of 6.5%.3 Leading industries in Lubbock include information technology, health care, sales and marketing, engineering, and banking, accounting, and finance. WalletHub lists Lubbock as one of “2020’s Best Cities for Jobs.” The list takes into account job opportunities, employment growth potential, and average monthly starting salary.
The jobs in Lubbock empower millennials to enter the work force at substantial income levels and begin to generate wealth. Indeed.com recently ranked Lubbock as third in the nation for high adjusted salaries and above average opportunities.3 A 2019 study by GOBankingRates lists Lubbock as one of the “17 Cities That Are Getting Richer.” Per capita income, median income, poverty rate, and population were all taken into account for the listings. In 2019, the “Hub City” was also named in the “Top 10 Mid-Sized Cities for Economic Growth Potential” by Business Facilities and one of the “15 Best Midsize Cities for New College Grads” by OnlineDegrees.com.2
In conjunction with a high earning potential, millennials are choosing to live in Lubbock for its low cost of living. Their dollar stretches further here, allowing them to pay off student loans and accumulate savings at a faster rate. Lubbock’s overall cost of living index is 91.5%, according to the Council for Community and Economic Research, which puts it on the list of urban areas in the U.S. with the lowest cost of living.
Housing is also much more affordable here. Average median rent per month is $896, compared to the national $982, and the median single-family home price is $141,369, compared to the national $222,108.4 In Lubbock, millennials are able to live in larger, nicer homes for much less than the national average.
Millennials have done the math, and when they combine all of these savings with the fact that there are no personal income taxes in Texas, they realize the advantage of beginning their career here.
Perhaps more than any previous generation, millennials value a healthy work-life balance. In 2019, USA Today named Lubbock as one of the “best cities for jobs, social life, and affordable living after college graduation.” And with an average commute time of 16 minutes, residents spend less time in the car and more quality time with friends and family. Lubbock consistently ranks in SmartAsset’s annual list of “Cities With The Best Work-Life Balance,” which looks at 10 metrics including entertainment and nightlife, average number of hours worked per week, housing costs as a percentage of income, and average commute time.2
Millennials have no problem finding things to do in Lubbock to fill their free time. The “Hub City” has been home to music legends like Buddy Holly, Joe Ely, Amanda Shires, and Josh Abbott, and its exciting live music scene is a constant. Nearly every night of the week, live music can be enjoyed throughout the city at popular venues like The Blue Light Live, Cactus Theater, and The Triple J Chophouse & Brew Co.
Lubbock is at the center of Texas wine country. Ninety percent of Texas wine grapes are grown in the High Plains area and there are several award-winning wineries here that offer tours and tastings. There are also a number of festivals throughout the year that celebrate the region’s wines.
Millennials looking to feed their creative spirit appreciate the flourishing art culture here. The Lubbock Cultural District is comprised of museums, galleries, and events that provide incredible experiences that encompass the region’s art, history, music, and dance. Regular events like the First Friday Art Trail attract thousands to wander in and out of artists’ studios and galleries that showcase the abundance of local talent.
Lubbock has a strong quality of place. New lofts and apartments are opening downtown, giving millennials a place to live, work, and play in close proximity. Any night of the week, they can dine at the nearly 1,000 restaurants that include everything from fast and fresh to fine and fabulous. According to Sperling’s Best Places, Lubbock has better-than-average air and water quality and a higher number of physicians per 100,000 residents when compared to the rest of the nation.5
There are numerous state and national parks within close proximity, and the ski slopes of Ruidoso are just four hours away. As Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport provides instant access to the world, not to mention a long list of nonstop flights, it’s no wonder millennials are choosing the “Hub City” as home to begin their career.