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Texas named a best state for remote work

A new list Texas at No. 6 among the best states for people seeking remote jobs. Photo vie Getty Images

Economic development boosters regularly tout Texas as a business-friendly state. Now, they can add another positive attribute: Texas ranks as one of the top remote-work-friendly states in the U.S.

A new list from the CareerCloud career platform puts Texas at No. 6 among the best states for people seeking remote jobs. Utah leads the ranking, followed by Colorado, the District of Columbia, Washington, and Virginia.

Helping lift Texas toward the top of the ranking is its No. 3 spot among the states projected to see the most growth (26 percent) in remote-friendly jobs from 2018 to 2028. Utah ranks first (41.7 percent) and Colorado ranks second (30.8 percent).

CareerCloud judged states on two other factors: broadband internet access, with Texas holding the No. 23 spot, and employment per 1,000 remote-friendly jobs, with Texas at No. 24.

These are the 14 jobs that CareerCloud deemed remote-friendly:

  • Accountant
  • Actuary
  • Computer network architect
  • Computer systems manager
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Information security analyst
  • Management analyst
  • Market research analyst
  • Marketing manager
  • Mathematician
  • Software developer
  • Statistician
  • Web developer

A list published last year by TheStreet, an investment website, backs up Texas' position in the CareerCloud ranking. The Street names nine places in Texas among the 30 best U.S. cities for remote work during the pandemic: El Paso, Plano, Garland, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Austin, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas. Houston didn't make the cut.

By contrast, not a single city in Texas appears on a list published by Money Crashers, a personal finance website, of the 20 best places in the U.S. to live and work remotely in 2021. Likewise, Livability.com leaves Texas cities off its list of the country's top 10 remote-ready cities for 2021.

A March 21 post authored by Tory Gattis, editor of the Houston Strategies blog and founding senior fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism, makes the case for and against Houston as a remote-work hub.

Gattis lays out these factors in favor of Houston as a remote-friendly place:

  • Most affordable global city in the U.S., offering big-city amenities at a reasonable cost
  • Lots of Houston ex-pats who might come home to be closer to family and friends
  • Strong community culture for such a large, diverse city
  • Healthy immigrant ecosystem

According to Gattis, these are some of the unfavorable factors for Houston as a remote-friendly spot:

  • Not a classic "lifestyle" destination like Austin, Denver, or Miami
  • Big-city problems like traffic and crime
  • Climate susceptible to hurricanes, flooding, heat, and humidity

"Overall," Gattis writes, "I'd say we're likely to come out fairly well — not as good as the popular lifestyle cities, but much better than the unaffordable superstar cities like SF and NYC."

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Building Houston

 
 

Business and government leaders in the Houston area hope the region can become a hub for CCS activity. Photo via Getty Images

Three big businesses — Air Liquide, BASF, and Shell — have added their firepower to the effort to promote large-scale carbon capture and storage for the Houston area’s industrial ecosystem.

These companies join 11 others that in 2021 threw their support behind the initiative. Participants are evaluating how to use safe carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at Houston-area facilities that provide energy, power generation, and advanced manufacturing for plastics, motor fuels, and packaging.

Other companies backing the CCS project are Calpine, Chevron, Dow, ExxonMobil, INEOS, Linde, LyondellBasell, Marathon Petroleum, NRG Energy, Phillips 66, and Valero.

Business and government leaders in the Houston area hope the region can become a hub for CCS activity.

“Large-scale carbon capture and storage in the Houston region will be a cornerstone for the world’s energy transition, and these companies’ efforts are crucial toward advancing CCS development to achieve broad scale commercial impact,” Charles McConnell, director of University of Houston’s Center for Carbon Management in Energy, says in a news release.

McConnell and others say CCS could help Houston and the rest of the U.S. net-zero goals while generating new jobs and protecting current jobs.

CCS involves capturing carbon dioxide from industrial activities that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere and then injecting it into deep underground geologic formations for secure and permanent storage. Carbon dioxide from industrial users in the Houston area could be stored in nearby onshore and offshore storage sites.

An analysis of U.S Department of Energy estimates shows the storage capacity along the Gulf Coast is large enough to store about 500 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to more than 130 years’ worth of industrial and power generation emissions in the United States, based on 2018 data.

“Carbon capture and storage is not a single technology, but rather a series of technologies and scientific breakthroughs that work in concert to achieve a profound outcome, one that will play a significant role in the future of energy and our planet,” says Gretchen Watkins, U.S. president of Shell. “In that spirit, it’s fitting this consortium combines CCS blueprints and ambitions to crystalize Houston’s reputation as the energy capital of the world while contributing to local and U.S. plans to help achieve net-zero emissions.”

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