Select Page

unnamed

Featured in this image during the Thursday, February 6, 2014 grand opening of the EEDC’s office in downtown Edinburg are, from left: Agustín “Gus” García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Edinburg City Councilmember Richard Molina; Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and Ramiro Garza, Jr., City Manager, City of Edinburg.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Edinburg’s unemployment rate for December 2014 was 4.8 percent, the best showing for the city during 2014, and the first time in almost seven years – since January 2008, which also achieved a 4.8 percent unemployment rate – that the city’s economy had registered such a strong figure in the jobs market, Mayor Richard García has announced. The EEDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council. The annual unemployment rate in Edinburg for 2014 was 6.15 percent, the best 12-month average from January through December in seven years. Edinburg’s annual unemployment rates since 2005, which is the year in which the state government began preparing those figures using a more accurate formula, have registered as follows: 2014 (6.15 percent); 2013 (7.3 percent); 2012 (7.8 percent); 2011 (8.9 percent); 2010 (8.4 percent); 2009 (6.8 percent); 2008 (5.0 percent); 2007 (4.8 percent); 2006 (5.3 percent); and 2005 (4.9 percent). In deep South Texas, only McAllen registered a better December 2014 monthly unemployment figure than Edinburg’s 4.8 percent, but not by much, as the City of Palms came in at 4.6 percent. The statewide unemployment average in Texas for December 2014 was 4.6 percent, while the U.S. unemployment rate for that month was 5.6 percent. Agustín “Gus” García, Executive Director for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, says the ongoing improvements of the local and regional unemployment rates are tied into the strengths and diversity of the economies throughout deep South Texas. “Edinburg has our medical, educational and governmental sectors which help power our economy, while McAllen has their large manufacturing and retail industries,” he illustrated. “With the scheduled opening in February of the $180 million Santana Textiles denim manufacturing complex in north Edinburg, and with the continuing growth of The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and its planned School of Medicine in Edinburg, we should see more economic advances for our community and region.” García (no relation to Mayor Richard García) pointed out that the Valley is an economic success story which reaches beyond its four-county boundaries. “We are fortunate as a whole to be in a growing sector of the United States. Recently the Edinburg/McAllen/Mission/Pharr metropolitan statistical area was ranked as the second-fastest growth area in the Texas, and Texas has continually been ranked as the fastest-growing state in the nation,” the EEDC Executive Director continued. “The EEDC’s role as a center of economic development is to harness these opportunities. These and other positive economic achievements reflect the efforts of not only the EEDC Board of Directors and its staff, but also of the city management, and of course, our city leadership: Mayor García and the Edinburg City Council.”

••••••

Edinburg’s December 2014 unemployment rate drops below five percent, best monthly showing in almost seven years, Edinburg EDC announces

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg’s unemployment rate for December 2014 was 4.8 percent, the best showing for the city during 2014, and the first time in almost seven years – since January 2008, which also achieved a 4.8 percent unemployment rate – that the city’s economy had registered such a strong figure in the jobs market, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

The EEDC is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council.

The annual unemployment rate in Edinburg for 2014 was 6.15 percent, the best 12-month average from January through December in seven years.

Edinburg’s annual unemployment rates since 2005, which is the year in which the state government began preparing those figures using a more accurate formula, have registered as follows: 2014 (6.15 percent); 2013 (7.3 percent); 2012 (7.8 percent); 2011 (8.9 percent); 2010 (8.4 percent); 2009 (6.8 percent); 2008 (5.0 percent); 2007 (4.8 percent); 2006 (5.3 percent); and 2005 (4.9 percent).

In deep South Texas, only McAllen registered a better December 2014 monthly unemployment figure than Edinburg’s 4.8 percent, but not by much, as the City of Palms came in at 4.6 percent.

The statewide unemployment average in Texas for December 2014 was 4.6 percent, while the U.S. unemployment rate for that month was 5.6 percent.

Agustín “Gus” García, Executive Director for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, says the ongoing improvements of the local and regional unemployment rates are tied into the strengths and diversity of the economies throughout deep South Texas.

“Edinburg has our medical, educational and governmental sectors which help power our economy, while McAllen has their large manufacturing and retail industries,” he illustrated. “With the scheduled opening in February of the $180 million Santana Textiles denim manufacturing complex in north Edinburg, and with the continuing growth of The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley and its planned School of Medicine in Edinburg, we should see more economic advances for our community and region.”

García (no relation to Mayor Richard García) pointed out that the Valley is an economic success story which reaches beyond its four-county boundaries.

“We are fortunate as a whole to be in a growing sector of the United States. Recently the Edinburg/McAllen/Mission/Pharr metropolitan statistical area was ranked as the second-fastest growth area in the Texas, and Texas has continually been ranked as the fastest-growing state in the nation,” the EEDC Executive Director continued. “The EEDC’s role as a center of economic development is to harness these opportunities. These and other positive economic achievements reflect the efforts of not only the EEDC Board of Directors and its staff, but also of the city management, and of course, our city leadership: Mayor García and the Edinburg City Council.” According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the four-county Valley’s other major communities shared in Edinburg and McAllen’s good news, continuing to boast unemployment rates in the single-digits, in the following order: Harlingen (5.1 percent); Mission (6.0 percent); Weslaco (7.0 percent); Pharr (7.2 percent); and Brownsville (7.8 percent).

Among its many duties, the Texas Workforce Commission, a state agency, provides information and analysis on shifts in occupations and industries within the state, including unemployment rates and employment figures, broken down by cities, counties, and regions in Texas, on a monthly basis.

The December 2014 data, released by the Texas Workforce Commission on Friday, January 23, also showed an increase of 721 jobs in Edinburg from January 2014.

In December 2014, there were 34,055 persons employed in Edinburg, compared with 33,334 at the beginning of the year, in January 2o14, according to TWC.

For all of 2014, Edinburg has maintained monthly unemployment rates under seven percent, ranging from a high of three consecutive 6.9 percent showings in June, July and August, followed by steady monthly improvements that wound up with the city’s best showing for the year with December’s 4.8 percent posting.

All cities combined in Hidalgo County averaged a 7.8 percent unemployment rate in December 2014, while all cities combined in Cameron County averaged a 7.2 percent unemployment rate in December 2014.

Also for December 2014, 295,570 individuals were employed in Hidalgo County, while 150,690 persons were employed in Cameron County.

All cities combined in Starr County averaged a 13.3 percent unemployment rate in December 2014, while all cities combined in Willacy County averaged a 9.1 percent unemployment rate for the during the last month of that year.

For December 2014, 21,451 individuals were employed in Starr County, while during the same month, 7,358 persons were employed in Willacy County.

“OVERALL TREND REMAINS POSITIVE”

Mike Willis, Director of Business Partnerships, Workforce Solutions, said that the improved employment figures are due to seasonal hirings for the holidays, but he still expects deep South Texas to continue creating more jobs.

“The TWC December employment reports showed reductions in the unemployment rates across the region, due primarily to seasonal hiring in the retail sector for the holidays. This is often followed by an increase in January, as many of these seasonal hires are released. Both Texas and the U.S. also decreased in December,” he observed.

Still, Willis predicted, “The overall trend remains positive, continuing on a steady downward trajectory, as the economy, both in our region and across the country, continues its recovery.”

Texas Workforce Solutions is comprised of the Texas Workforce Commission and a statewide network of 28 Workforce Development Boards for regional planning and service delivery, their contracted service providers and community partners, and the TWC unemployment benefits Tele-Centers. This network gives customers local access to workforce solutions and statewide services at numerous Workforce Solutions offices and five Tele-Centers.

Willis said he is keeping a close eye on the development of the Burgos Basin regions in northern Mexico, just south of the Valley, where huge amounts of oil and natural gas are awaiting U.S. and other international technology to recover – sooner or later – those vast natural resources.

The dramatic drop in the prices of oil worldwide is expected to delay positive economic impact in the Valley stemming from Mexico’s newfound treasures, but he remained optimistic that deep South Texas will eventually profit from those huge new energy fields.

“I expect we will see the Burgos Basin region get off to a very slow start because the cost of drilling in Mexico is higher than here, and energy-related capital budgets are being cut as we speak for the next year or two,” Willis reported. “Several major drilling companies had indicated some time ago they were not planning to operate any land wells in Mexico, but were interested in the offshore production. The energy-related businesses I have spoken to do not expect to see many U.S. workers employed in the Burgos, even when it does ramp up.”

So far, the Valley economy has not been hurt by the slowdown in energy-exploration activities in the Burgos Basin region, which includes South Texas’ neighboring border Mexican states of Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, and Coahuila, he said.

Still, he emphasized that Valley cities “are well-positioned to capitalize on materials storage and distribution, and I expect it to eventually provide a great deal of economic opportunity in the region.”

As for the effects of the drop in gasoline prices for motorists in the Valley and beyond, Willis said that, too, is a silver lining for Valley consumers and many local businesses.

“The low pump prices are putting an average of $1,000 a year back into the pockets of consumers, which will benefit the travel, food service, and retail sectors,” he said. “Other industries that are heavily dependent on oil or anything made with plastics, are experiencing tremendous benefits. We are in for quite a ride, so hang on and enjoy it while it lasts.”

When in full production, those regions are estimated to generate more than $1 trillion over 10 years in prosperity for Northern Mexico. Valley and Texas business and political interests are hoping to see some of that fortune invested or spent in deep South Texas by Mexican consumers.

“We reviewed local layoff data for the past few months, and have yet to see any significant jump in energy-related layoffs in our region,” Willis said. “However, if you look at the December Corpus Christi MSA report, you will see what might be the beginning of a slowdown, as they show some job losses in the energy/construction sector, and that sector had added 2900 jobs in the previous 11 months.”

A recent report by The New York Times, entitled Oil Prices: What’s Behind the Drop? Simple Economics, contends that the low prices plaguing the oil industry has numerous factors, but “the oil industry, with its history of booms and busts, appears to be in the early stages of its latest downturn.”

New York Times correspondents Clifford Krauss and Stanley Reed, authors of the Monday, January 12, 2005 news analysis, noted that in early January, the price of oil had “plunged by more than half since June, reaching levels last seen during the depths of the 2009 recession.”

As of early January, “Brent crude, the main international benchmark, was trading around $48 a barrel, while the American benchmark was closer to $45 a barrel,” Krauss and Reed reported. “Oil analysts predict that the price could fall below $40 before beginning to rebound. But even optimists say $70 a barrel by the end of the year is highly doubtful.”

OTHER KEY ECONOMIC INDICATORS

More detailed information about the labor market and unemployment rates in Edinburg and neighboring major communities include:

Number of Persons Employed, December 2014:

Brownsville: 63,358
McAllen: 59,519
Edinburg: 34,055
Mission: 30,452
Pharr: 26,323
Harlingen: 25,223
Weslaco: 13,709

Edinburg 2014 Employment, By Month:

December 2014: 34,055
November 2014: 34,086
October 2014: 33,865
September 2014: 33,239
August 2014: 32,796
July 2014: 32,630
June 2014: 33,097
May 2014: 33,480
April 2014: 33,587
March 2014: 33,660
February 2014: 33,436
January 2014: 33,334

Edinburg December Employment, By Year:

December 2014: 34,055
December 2013: 33,232
December 2012: 32,897
December 2011: 32,258
December 2010: 31,781
December 2009: 30,349
December 2008: 29,943
December 2007: 28,623
December 2006: 27,605
December 2005: 26,020

Edinburg December Unemployment Rates, By Year:

December 2014: 4.8 percent
December 2013: 6.7 percent
December 2012: 7.0 percent
December 2011: 7.7 percent
December 2010: 8.3 percent
December 2009: 6.7 percent
December 2008: 5.4 percent
December 2007: 4.6 percent
December 2006: 4.4 percent
December 2005: 4.3 percent

Edinburg Monthly Unemployment Rates, 2014:

December: 4.8 percent
November: 5.5 percent
October: 5.9 percent
September: 6.1 percent
August: 6.9 percent
July: 6.9 percent
June: 6.9 percent
May: 6.1 percent
April: 5.5 percent
March: 6.0 percent
February: 6.6 percent
January: 6.6 percent

Edinburg Monthly Unemployment Rates, 2013

December: 6.7 percent
November: 6.8 percent
October: 7.4 percent
September: 7.4 percent
August: 7.6 percent
July: 7.9 percent
June: 8.0 percent
May: 7.3 percent
April: 6.7 percent
March: 7.2 percent
February: 7.5 percent
January: 7.7 percent

Because of substantial methodology changes between 2004 and 2005 in estimating city unemployment statistics, Texas city data is not available prior to 2005, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Because of substantial methodology changes in geographic areas below the state level, data from 2005 and 2004 or earlier is not considered comparable, the state agency adds.

The Texas Workforce Commission data on all entities in the state, including cities and counties, is available online at: http://www.tracer2.com/cgi/dataanalysis/AreaSelection.asp?tableName=Labforce

Share This

Share this post with your friends!