Despite recent high-profile troubles, Southwest Airlines leads a list of the 17 big companies in Dallas-Fort Worth that employees love the most. Southwest has landed at No. 13 on Forbes magazine’s list of the best major U.S. employers for 2018.
Forbes teamed up with market research company Statista to identify the U.S. employers liked most by employees. To come up with the list, Statista surveyed thousands of American workers.
The airline has come under public scrutiny in the last month. On April 17, a passenger died when an engine blew apart mid-flight. On May 2, a jet made an emergency landing because of a cracked window, and on May 7, a Southwest plane collided with a truck on the tarmac of a Baltimore Airport.
Southwest still carried more passengers in April than it did in April 2017. And internally, their employee satisfaction consistently is reflected in customer satisfaction (and vice versa), as the carrier regularly ranks among the top-rated airlines in the U.S.
“Our company was founded on a 'people-first' philosophy, and it’s because of our people that we are honored among the best employers," company spokeswoman Emily Samuels says.
Aside from Southwest, these are the best major employers in DFW as judged by employees:
- University of North Texas, Denton (No. 40)
- Natural gas and propane company Energy Transfer Partners, Dallas (No. 60)
- Retail chain Neiman Marcus Group, Dallas (No. 84)
- Consumer products maker Kimberly-Clark, Dallas (No. 96)
- Healthcare system Texas Health Resources, Arlington (No. 122)
- Plano Independent School District (No. 175)
- BNSF Railway, Fort Worth (No. 196)
- Semiconductor designer and manufacturer Texas Instruments, Dallas (No. 198)
- Automaker Toyota USA, Plano (No. 207)
- Retail chain Tuesday Morning, Dallas (No. 214)
- Building supplies and materials retailer Builders FirstSource, Dallas (No. 309)
- Industrial and environmental machinery supplier Flowserve, Irving (No. 375)
- IT company NTT Data, Plano (No. 411)
- Entertainment and event company Topgolf, Dallas (No. 426)
- Cosmetics retailer Mary Kay, Addison (No. 442)
- Beverage supplier Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Plano (No. 485)
Elsewhere in Texas, the Houston area claims seven spots on the Forbes list, with San Antonio at four and Austin at three. Seven employers on the Forbes list are based in the Houston area:
- MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston (No. 27)
- Fort Bend Independent School District, Sugar Land (No. 86)
- Total, Houston (No. 107)
- Sysco, Houston (No. 218)
- ConocoPhillips, Houston (No. 316)
- Utility company CenterPoint Energy, Houston (No. 387)
- Retail chain Academy Sports + Outdoors, Katy (No. 467)
Not unlike Southwest, MD Anderson’s high regard among employees aligns with its highly regarded health care. For instance, MD Anderson was named in 2017 as the country’s No. 1 cancer hospital by U.S. News & World Report. It has held the top spot for 13 out of 16 years.
Four San Antonio-based employers made the Forbes list:
- Financial services provider USAA (No. 11)
- Grocery chain H-E-B (No. 53)
- Northside Independent School District (No. 144)
- North East Independent School District (No. 171)
This marks USAA’s fourth consecutive appearance in the Forbes ranking.
“At USAA, we focus on helping military members and their families become financially secure,” Stuart Parker, CEO of USAA, says in a statement. “We invest in great benefits and career development opportunities for employees so they can concentrate on our purpose-driven mission.”
In Austin, three employers are on the Forbes list:
- Keller Williams Realty (No. 56)
- Grocery chain Whole Foods Market (No. 162)
- Restaurant chain Chuy’s (No. 427)
Keller Williams’ appearance on the Forbes list is no surprise, given that it was hailed by career website CareerBliss as the “happiest” company in the country for 2018.