Texas scores five of Forbes' top ten best cities for future job growth.  Meanwhile, job security nationwide is the strongest in eight years.

Despite Microsoft's recent job cuts, layoffs nationwide have fallen so much that the number of those seeking benefits last week plunged to its lowest level since February 2006. 

“The past few months, the labor market has changed considerably, improving the situation where people should feel a little more secure about their jobs,” says Texas economist Ray Perryman.

“We've regained all the jobs we lost during the recession in terms of net numbers and we're still seeing strong job growth,” he tells KTRH News.

So when can we see a pay raise?

“Its happening in some occupations where you're seeing some fairly critical shortages right now,” says Dr. Perryman.  “Across the entire spectrum wage increases are still relatively low, but I think over the next two to three years you'll begin to see a little more bargaining power shift back to the workers.”

Still, while layoffs have fallen 7.5 percent this year, actual hiring has increased just 3 percent.