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Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

Featured: Ellie Torres, Secretary/Treasurer for the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, earlier this year in the Council Chamber of Edinburg City Hall.

Photograph By DIEGO REYNA

Edinburg’s unemployment rate for January 2016 of 4.8 percent kept pace with McAllen and its Valley-leading 4.7 percent showing for the same month, and marked the sixth time since January 2015 that Edinburg’s monthly unemployment rate was under five percent, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. In addition, the annual unemployment rate in Edinburg for 2o15 was 5.1 percent, the best performance for the city since 2007, when the annual figure came in at 4.7 percent. Edinburg’s latest showing was better than the U.S. unemployment rate for January 2016, which was 4.9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000).

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Edinburg unemployment rate for January 2016 comes in at 4.8 percent; 2015 annual figure of 5.1 percent best in city since 2007

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg’s unemployment rate for January 2016 of 4.8 percent kept pace with McAllen and its Valley-leading 4.7 percent showing for the same month, and marked the sixth time since January 2015 that Edinburg’s monthly unemployment rate was under five percent, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

In addition, the annual unemployment rate in Edinburg for 2o15 was 5.1 percent, the best performance for the city since 2007, when the annual figure came in at 4.7 percent.

Edinburg’s latest showing was better than the U.S. unemployment rate for January 2016, which was 4.9 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000).

The unemployment rate in January 2016 for Texas was 4.4 percent, while the annual unemployment rate in Texas for 2015 was 4.5 percent.

The EEDC, of which Agustín García, Jr. is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council.

The EEDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez as Vice President, Ellie M. Torres as Secretary/Treasurer, and Mayor Richard García and Richard Ruppert as Members.

Richard García and Agustín García, Jr. are not related.

During 2015, Edinburg had the Valley’s best unemployment rate in November (4.7 percent) and in September (5 percent), and tied with McAllen for the lowest monthly figures in October (4.9 percent) and January (5.2 percent), according to the latest figures released by the Texas Workforce Commission.

Edinburg’s annual unemployment rate for 2015 compared favorably with the Valley’s other major cities:

• The annual unemployment rate in McAllen for 2015 was 5 percent;
• The annual unemployment rate in Edinburg for 2015 was 5.1 percent;
• The annual unemployment rate in Harlingen for 2o15 was 5.9 percent;
• The annual unemployment rate in Mission for 2o15 was 6.2 percent;
• The annual unemployment rate in Weslaco for 2o15 was 6.5 percent;
• The annual unemployment rate in Pharr for 2o15 was 6.9 percent; and
• The annual unemployment rate in Brownsville for 2o15 was 7 percent.

Also according to the latest data, which was released on Friday, March 4, 2016 by the Texas Workforce Commission, there were 35,818 people employed in Edinburg during the month of January 2016.

The data represents an increase of 426 jobs in Edinburg when comparing the employment figures for January 2016 and January 2015. In January 2016, there were 35,818 employed in Edinburg, compared with 35,392 persons employed in Edinburg in January 2015.

Edinburg’s January 2016 figure of 4.8 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including the 2015 numbers: December (4.7 percent), November (4.7 percent), October (4.9 percent), September (5 percent), August (5.4 percent), July (5.7 percent), June (5.5 percent), May (5 percent), April (4.7 percent), March (4.8 percent), February (5 percent), and January (5.2 percent).

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, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, have registered as follows: 2015 (5.1 percent), 2014 (5.8 percent), 2013 (6.9 percent), 2012 (7.5 percent), 2011 (8.4 percent), 2010 (8.2 percent), 2009 (6.8 percent), 2008 (4.9 percent), 2007 (4.7 percent), 2006 (5.2 percent), and 2005 (4.9 percent).

The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy.

The unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed, expressed as a percentage of the civilian labor force, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The civilian labor force is that portion of the population age 16 and older employed or unemployed. To be considered unemployed, a person has to be not working but willing and able to work and actively seeking work.

Also according to the Texas Workforce Commission, the major cities in the four-county Valley have recorded the following monthly unemployment rates in January 2016, and for each month in 2015, including the annual unemployment rate for each city for 2015:

McAllen

January 2016: 4.7 percent.

During 2015: December (4.5 percent), November (4.9 percent), October (4.9 percent), September (5.1 percent), August (5.2 percent), July (5.5 percent), June (5.4 percent), May (4.9 percent), April (4.5 percent), March (4.7 percent), February (4.9 percent), and January (5.2 percent).

Edinburg

January 2016: 4.8 percent.

During 2015: December (4.7 percent), November (4.7 percent), October (4.9 percent), September (5 percent), August (5.4 percent), July (5.7 percent), June (5.5 percent), May (5 percent), April (4.7 percent), March (4.8 percent), February (5 percent), and January (5.2 percent).

Harlingen

January 2016: 5.6 percent.

During 2015: December (5.3 percent), November (5.7 percent), October (5.7 percent), September (6 percent), August (6.2 percent), July (6.4 percent), June (6.4 percent), May (5.9 percent), April (5.5 percent), March (5.7 percent), February (5.9 percent), and January (6.5 percent).

Mission

January 2016: 6.3 percent.

During 2015: December (6.1 percent), November (6.2 percent), October (6.1 percent); September (6.1 percent), August (6.4 percent), July (6.7 percent), June (6.7 percent), May (6.1 percent), April (5.7 percent), March (5.8 percent), February (6 percent), and January (6.4 percent).

Pharr

January 2016: 6.8 percent.

During 2015: December (7.1 percent), November (7.1 percent), (October 6.5 percent), September (6.6 percent), August (7.3 percent), July (7.6 percent), June (7.4 percent), May (6.4 percent), April (6.2 percent), March (6.5 percent), February (6.9 percent), and January (7.7 percent).

Brownsville

January 2016: 7.1 percent.

During 2015: December (6.9 percent), November (6.9 percent), October (6.5 percent); September (6.6 percent), August (7 percent), July (7.2 percent), June (7.2 percent), May (6.7 percent), April (6.6 percent), March (7.1 percent), February (7.3 percent), and January (8 percent).

Weslaco

January 2016: 7.1 percent.

During 2015: December (6.9 percent), November (6.7 percent), October (5.9 percent), September (6.7 percent), August (6.9 percent), July (6.7 percent), June (6.4 percent), May (6.1 percent), April (5.8 percent), March (6 percent), February (6.7 percent), and January (7.4 percent).

ADDITIONAL REGIONAL ECONOMIC STATISTICS

All cities combined in Hidalgo County averaged a 8.1 percent unemployment rate in January 2016.

The combined monthly unemployment rates in 2015 in Hidalgo County were as follows: December (7.9 percent), November (7.9 percent), October (7.4 percent), September (7.7 percent), August (8.3 percent), July (8.5 percent), June (8.4 percent), May (7.6 percent), April (7.4 percent), March (7.6 percent), February (8 percent), and January (8.5 percent).

The annual combined unemployment rate in Hidalgo County for 2o15 was 7.9 percent.

All cities combined in Cameron County averaged a 7.1 percent unemployment rate in January 2016.

The combined monthly unemployment rates in 2015 in Cameron County were as follows: December (6.8 percent), November (6.9 percent), October (6.7 percent), September (6.8 percent), August (7.1 percent), July (7.4 percent), June (7.5 percent), May (6.9 percent), April (6.8 percent), March (7.1 percent), February (7.4 percent), and January (7.9 percent).

The annual combined unemployment rate in Cameron County for 2o15 was 7.1 percent.

Also for January 2016, there were 307,601 individuals employed in Hidalgo County, while 152,835 persons were employed in Cameron County.

All cities combined in Starr County averaged a 14.3 percent unemployment rate in January 2016.

The combined monthly unemployment rates in 2015 in Starr County were as follows: December (13.7 percent), November (13.6 percent), October (12.9 percent), September (12.7 percent), August (13.7 percent), July (14.1 percent), June (14.2 percent), May (13 percent), April (13.1 percent), March (13.8 percent), February (13.9 percent), and January (14.4 percent).

The annual combined unemployment rate in Starr County for 2o15 was 13.6 percent.

All cities combined in Willacy County averaged a 12.6 percent rate in January 2016.

The combined monthly unemployment rates in 2015 in Willacy County were as follows: December (12.1 percent), November (12.6 percent), October (12.8 percent), September (12.6 percent), August (13.8 percent), July (14.4 percent), June (14.7 percent), May (13.5 percent), April (13.5 percent), March (13.2 percent), February (11.7 percent), and January (12.2 percent).

The annual combined unemployment rate in Willacy County for 2o15 was 13.1 percent.

For January 2016, there were 22,154 individuals employed in Starr County, while during the same month, 5,641 persons were employed in Willacy County.

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

Number of Persons Employed, January 2016:

Brownsville: 69,172
McAllen: 59,984
• Edinburg: 35,818
• Mission: 31,045
• Pharr: 26,966
• Harlingen: 23,002
• Weslaco: 13,379

Edinburg 2015 Employment, By Month:

• December 2015: 35,776
• November 2015: 35,539
• October 2015: 35,538
• September 2015: 35,324
• August 2015: 35,092
• July 2014: 35,083
• June 2015: 35,705
• May 2015: 36,107
• April 2015: 35,874
• March 2015: 35,736
• February 2015: 35,451
• January 2015: 35,392

Edinburg 2014 Employment, By Month:

• December 2014: 35,573
• November 2014: 35,601
• October 2014: 35,521
• September 2014: 35,155
• August 2014: 34,739
• July 2014: 34,645
• June 2014: 35,339
• May 2014: 35,530
• April 2014: 35,497
• March 2014: 35,336
• February 2014: 35,229
• January 2014: 35,111

Edinburg Monthly Unemployment Rates, 2014:

• December: 4.7 percent
• November: 5.2 percent
• October: 5.5 percent
• September: 5.7 percent
• August: 6.3 percent
• July: 6.6 percent
• June: 6.6 percent
• May: 5.8 percent
• April: 5.3 percent
• March: 5.9 percent
• February: 6.2 percent
• January: 6.3 percent

Edinburg Monthly Unemployment Rates, 2013

• December: 6.1 percent
• November: 6.4 percent
• October: 7 percent
• September: 6.9 percent
• August: 7.2 percent
• July: 7.5 percent
• June: 7.6 percent
• May: 6.9 percent
• April: 6.4 percent
• March: 6.8 percent
• February: 7.1 percent
• January: 7.2 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 explains.

Effective in March 2015, the TWC also notes that “for all sub-state LAUS estimates, a break in series exists between December 2009 and January 2010 due to a change in methodology used. The use of caution is advised when comparing data from prior to 2010 to that of 2010-present.

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

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For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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