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Dallas-based airline lands on Forbes list of best employers for grads

Dallas-based airline lands on Forbes list of best employers for grads

Southwest Airlines Airplane
People still want to see the world. Southwest Airlines/Facebook

Pandemic aside, one Dallas-based airline might not be a bad place to look for a job, Forbes says. A new ranking from Forbes and Statista puts Southwest Airlines high on the list of best employers in the U.S. for new grads. 

Southwest rose 28 spots in one year to rank No. 11, even as the coronavirus brought the travel industry to a standstill in 2020.

To create the list, which was published September 16, Statista surveyed 20,000 Americans with less than 10 years of experience working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. Workers rated their employers on a variety of criteria, including workplace safety, competitiveness of compensation, advancement opportunities, effectiveness of diversity and inclusion efforts, and openness to telecommuting. Statista then asked workers how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to others, and to nominate employers in industries outside their own. The final list ranks the 250 employers that earned the most recommendations.

As Forbes notes, "In a July letter to employees, CEO Gary Kelly wrote, 'We have no intention of seeking furloughs, layoffs, pay rate cuts or benefits cuts through at least the end of this year.'

"At the time of the statement, though, 28 percent of Southwest workers had reportedly already taken a voluntary leave of absence or early retirement package ... it’s likely that respondents to our survey considered the chance to see the world, as well as Southwest’s commitment to profit sharing — which earned employees $667 million in 2019."

Austin-based Whole Foods Market climbed high to top the list this year. Whole Foods knocked Trader Joe’s off its No. 1 perch from 2019, pushing it into second place. On last year’s list, Whole Foods sat 39 rungs below where it stands now.

Forbes praises Amazon-owned Whole Foods for giving its full-time frontline workers a $500 bonus amid the COVID-19 pandemic and offering a 100 percent match of employee donations made to a fund aimed at helping coworkers who are struggling financially. Forbes also lauds Whole Foods’ career development initiatives, volunteer programs, and environmentally friendly practices.

Whole Foods employs about 2,400 people at its Austin headquarters and its local stores.

Other Texas companies to make the top 25 include Austin-based Keller Williams Realty (No. 25) and San Antonio’s USAA (No. 18). Facebook, which is based in California but has a large presence in Texas, also made the list at No. 20.