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Top 10 High Demand Jobs in America's Cheapest Place to Live: Graceland of Texas

Updated on July 6, 2012

Sunset in Brownsville


South Texas

Having lived in Galveston at one time, friends from the Midwest moved back to Texas to the San Antonio area a few years ago. They chose the San Antonio area for its job market and its not-too-distant location from the Gulf of Mexico. Rather to fear hurricanes that had destroyed some relatives homes in the Galveston area, they preferred to live inland and rive to the Gulf in good weather.

Brownsville, Texas is located at the southernmost point in South Texas, south of both San Antonio and Galveston. It is also fun place to travel and not too far distant by automobile. It is also the Cheapest (Good) Places to Live in America, according to Kiplinger Magazine in 2010 and still in the Top 10 Cheapest a year later. Kiplinger is one of the oldest and most accurate financial and economic resources in the country. I added the word Good myself, because Kiplinger would not recommend cheaper-though-rundown towns.

Little Graceland, Since 1993


Brownsville continues to grow quickly in Texas, having a 175,023 population in 2010 according to US Census2010 records and 179,000+ in 2011. Over 4,000 people have moved into the city or been born into it in just a single year.

At the same time, the local cost of living is figured to be nearly 24% lower than the average in the USA. Local jobs increased slightly during 2011, with a government prediction of a 28% increase through 2020. Home prices occur at a median of about $75,000, with an appreciation of about 1% in 2011 over 2010.

The Brownsville-Harlingen Metro area that combines the two cities is across the border from the Mexican city of Matamoros and restaurants that visitors report give top notch service, even if they are a little rundown. Just 15 minutes away from Brownsville in Texas is the city of Los Fresnos. This smaller city holds a yearly Elvis Presley Festival at "Little Graceland."

Little Graceland

Mr. Simon Vega is the happy owner of Little Graceland in Los Fresnos TX, filled with memorabilia from as far back as the 1950s. Mr. Vega served in Germany with Elvis Presley in the US Army and inhabited the same barracks as The King.

The City of Los Fernos and the Chamber of Commerce help Mr. Vega hold two different Elvis Festivals each year. One of these is held in the birth month of The King - January. The other is held in the month of his death - August. Elvis Tribute Artists appear at both festivals and compete for prizes, but Mr. Vega also knew the legendary Freddie Fender. Fender is also honored at the festivals with tribute artists.

Wasted Days and Wasted Nights

Graceland of Texas

show route and directions
A markerLos Fresnos, Texas -
Los Fresnos, TX 78566, USA
get directions

B markerBrownsville, Texas -
Brownsville, TX, USA
get directions

C markerMatamoros, Mexico -
Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico
get directions

D markerSouth Padre Island -
South Padre Island, TX, USA
get directions

The central plaza in Matamoros.
The central plaza in Matamoros. | Source
At the zoo.
At the zoo. | Source

Old Brownsville

  • The historic district of Brownsville is located downtown, under ongoing development sponsored by the City of Brownsville, the Chamber of Commerce, the local Economic Development entity, and local businesses. This sector of the city is home to many shops, museums, and historic buildings, some of which become horror mansions and Halloween sleepover events in October. One interesting event is sponsored by Briownsville art galleries - showings of Mexican Cinema Horror Posters.

High Demand Jobs

From October 2011 to July 2012, a stable 2,200 - 2,500 job listings appeared for Brownsville, up to a radius of 25 miles away, including Los Fesnos TX and Matamoros. The most jobs offered fell into the range of $40 - $59K per year, the second highest pay range being $20 - $39K.

Four separate bridges connect Brownsville, Texas with its Mexican counterpart across the Rio Grande River. Heavy foot traffic from Mexico adds to the economic wealth of Brownsville with increasing retail sales. Highest Demand Jobs include retail salespeople:

  1. Physical Therapists
  2. Occupational Therapists
  3. Registered Nurses (RNs) - Climbed to #3 since 2011
  4. Physicians
  5. Trucking - Drivers and Mechanics
  6. Engineers - Up from #8 in 2011
  7. Managers
  8. Event Specialists
  9. Salespeople - Lots of openings in Insurance Sales
  10. Public Health Jobs

Matamoros Top Employers (250 jobs July 2012)

  1. RH Enlace Global
  2. .Proyeccion Laboral
  3. La cosmopolitana S.A. de C.V. - City Jobs
  4. Corecomposites de Mexico S de R.L de C.V
  5. Tridonex, S de R.L. de C.V.
  6. Operadora de Personal OPIX
  7. CTS Electro de Matamoros
  8. SuperaciĆ³n Empresarial en Recursos Humanos, S.C.
  9. Manpower
  10. Bright Finishing S. de R.L. de C.V.
  11. Lineage Power Matamoros'
  12. DISH Mexico

Job Forecasts Positive

The Brownsville-Harlingen Metro Area is rated as a top metro are for development among the Top 100 Locations named by Area Development in Third QTR 2011. Reasons for this include the following:

In Harlingen, the company Tire Recycling & Processing began construction of a facililty that processes used tires into carbon black, granules, and bio fuels and will offer new jobs in a factory covering 42,777 square feet. The University of Texas is in the process of developing a new Medical Center in the area. Several other large ventures are under construction and the area is ranked high for warehousing and distribution of goods as well. Related to this, the North Brownsville Industrial Park is to be built in 2011 - 2012. A Michigan Company, CK Technologies, is moving to Brownsville in 2012 as well. In addition, research into algae-based fuels is increasingly successful in Brownsville companies.


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    • profile image 6 years ago from upstate, NY

      My Brother recently lived in Corpus Christi which is about 100 miles north of Brownville. He was a financial officer an engineering firm that hired about a hundred engineers, I guess your high demand statistics must be accurate because engineers were listed.

      From what he's told me, Corpus is a pretty area with the Padre Island national park nearby and plenty of things to do.-WBA

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      It must be a better place than described if so many travellers come all the way from Canada and othr locales -- Thanks for that addition!

    • profile image

      Snow Bird 6 years ago

      There was no mention of the thousands of people that make Brownsville and area their home for the winter. They add a whole lot of money to the economy, renovate and build homes, eat in the restaurants and shop. Our family has been going to Brownsville from Canada for over 30 years and love every trip.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for another informative hub and very encouraging for people looking for work.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      It's interesting what you find when you look at these towns and make some phone calls. This one is great to visit and experience the border activities other than protecting the border.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant hub. So well researched and presented,take care,


    • FloraBreenRobison profile image

      FloraBreenRobison 6 years ago

      I didn't realize there was any place called Little Graceland.

    • Teddletonmr profile image

      Mike Teddleton 6 years ago from Midwest USA

      Everything I wanted to know about south Texas, but did not know to ask. Thanks for the information, enjoy your day. Mike