Straddling the border between Texas' Taylor and Jones counties, the city of Abilene boasts a population of 117,063 and is the 27th most populous city in the Lone Star State. The city was founded and incorporated in 1881 with roughly 800-1,000 residents as a cattle shipping point along the now-defunct Texas and Pacific Railway.
The size and population of the town ballooned when the nearby U.S. Army base Camp Barkeley was constructed to meet the demands of WWII. Although the base closed shortly after the war's end, Abilene is now home to Dyess Air Force Base.
Those looking for Abilene jobs will be pleased with the overall cost of living index at 82.7, well below the national average of 100. The cheapest sector was the housing index, scoring a significantly low 56, followed by grocery with an 88.9. All other measurable indices scored in the mid- to upper-90s.
The median price of a home in the city is $95,200, roughly 45 percent less than the national median price of $170,100. Although residents pay an 8.25 percent sales tax for most purchases, there are no income taxes for residents in the city. However, the average household income in Abilene hovers around $41,000, substantially lower than the national average of $53,046.
Abilene Job Opportunities
Dyess Air Force Base is the largest provider of Abilene, TX jobs with 5,038 workers, followed by West-Texas healthcare chain Hendrick Health System (2,869), the Abilene Independent School District (2,413), the Abilene State Supported Living Center (1,472) and the City of Abilene itself (1,200).
While jobs in Abilene were originally established on the agriculture and livestock trade, a majority of Abilene jobs fall within the government, healthcare, manufacturing, education and petroleum industries. For more work opportunities about two hours east in the largest metropolitan city in Abilene's vicinity, check out Fort Worth jobs.
Abilene Employment Trends
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Abilene had a civilian labor force of 83,200 in August 2014. Of that group, 3,700 were looking for work, giving Abilene an unemployment rate of 4.4 percent — well below the national average of 5.9 percent at the time.
Roughly one in five workers found farming or ranching jobs in Abilene, TX, followed by 12,900 in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, 12,800 in the education and health services sector, and 7,800 in the leisure and hospitality sector. Due to its convenient location on I-20, there are plenty of available hospitality jobs in Abilene, TX.