Odessa is a small city in western Texas with a population of about 100,000. The oil industry plays a crucial role in the city's employment, but the city has taken steps to ensure strong economic growth in other sectors. This should protect the local economy as oil becomes more scarce.
Odessa, Texas's cost of living index rates as 81, which makes it 12 percent cheaper than the state average, which is 93, and 19 percent cheaper than the national average of 100. Most of the savings come from Odessa's low housing and transportation costs. Odessa's housing index is 48, making it 52 percent lower than the national average and about 38 percent lower than the Texas average.
Odessa's health care index is considerably higher than the state and nation. At 107, it's about 11 percent higher than the state average and 7 percent higher than the national average. The high cost of health care is balanced by affordable groceries, housing and utilities.
Odessa Job Opportunities
Odessa, TX jobs fall into a wide range of industries, including defense and healthcare. The city's largest employers include:
Ector County Independent School District
Medical Center Hospital
Odessa Regional Medical Center
Weatherford, a company that sells products to the oil and natural gas industry
Residents trained in technology, medical science, and education often have ample opportunities to secure Odessa jobs. Those without college degrees often find manufacturing jobs that support the area's financial stability.
Odessa Employment Trends
Odessa's population grew by just over 10% between 2000 and 2014. Forbes considers it one of the fastest-growing small cities in the country. This would limit employment opportunities for people in many towns, but the number of jobs in Odessa should grow by about 43% between 2014 and 2024. This should help residents find rewarding Odessa jobs in a variety of industries.
Odessa has recovered quickly from the 2007 financial crisis. Its unemployment rate grew from 3.8 percent in July 2008 to 9.3 percent in July 2009. The unemployment rate has slowly fallen since then. In July 2014, Odessa had a 3.5 percent unemployment rate, which is about 2 percent lower than the nation's rate.
While low unemployment means that most people have found jobs in Odessa, TX, some economists argue that the low rate could prevent people from pursuing new jobs. People experiencing difficulty in their chosen professionals might want to look for jobs in Midland and other nearby communities.