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Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Featured: Ellie M. Torres, Secretary/Treasurer for the Board of Directors of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, Francisco Cigarroa, M.D., then-Chancellor of the University of Texas System, and Mayor Richard García, on Tuesday, August 26, 2014, during groundbreaking ceremonies for the $54 million University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Medical Academic Building in Edinburg, the first new construction for the UTRGV School of Medicine.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

Edinburg’s unemployment rate for February 2016 of 4.5 percent is the best showing of any month for the city since February 2008, and this latest figure continues to keep pace with McAllen’s Valley-leading monthly unemployment rate, which came in at 4.4 percent for February 2016, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Also according to the latest data, which was released on Friday, March 25, 2016 by the Texas Workforce Commission, there were 36,204 people employed in Edinburg during the month of February 2016. The data represents an increase of 753 jobs in Edinburg when comparing the employment figures for February 2016 and February 2015. In February 2016, there were 36,204 employed in Edinburg, while 35,451 were employed in Edinburg in February 2015.

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Edinburg unemployment rate for February 2016 comes in at 4.5 percent, which is the best showing of any month since February 2008

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg’s unemployment rate for February 2016 of 4.5 percent is the best showing of any month for the city since February 2008, and this latest figure continues to keep pace with McAllen’s Valley-leading monthly unemployment rate, which came in at 4.4 percent for February 2016, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

The 4.5 percent figure is also better than the annual unemployment rate in Edinburg for 2o15 of 5.1 percent. The 5.1 percent annual unemployment rate for the city in 2015 was the best yearly performance since 2008, when Edinburg registered a 4.9 percent annual unemployment figure.

Edinburg’s latest showing also was better than the U.S. unemployment rate for February 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 February 2016 for Texas was 4.3 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 25, 2016 by the Texas Workforce Commission, there were 36,204 people employed in Edinburg during the month of February 2016.

The data represents an increase of 753 jobs in Edinburg when comparing the employment figures for February 2016 and February 2015. In February 2016, there were 36,204 employed in Edinburg, while there were 35,451 persons employed in Edinburg in February 2015.

Edinburg’s February 2016 figure of 4.5 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including January 2016 (4.8 percent), and 2015’s showings – 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 February 2016 and January 2016, and for each month in 2015, including the annual unemployment rate for each city for 2015:

McAllen

February 2015: 4.4 percent; January 2016: 4.7 percent.

Monthly Unemployment Rate 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).

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 5 percent.

Edinburg

February 2016: 4.5 percent; January 2016: 4.8 percent.

Monthly Unemployment Rate 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).

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 5.1 percent.

Harlingen

February 2016: 5.5 percent; January 2016: 5.6 percent.

Monthly Unemployment Rate 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).

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 5.9 percent.

Mission

February 2016: 6 percent; January 2016: 6.3 percent.

Monthly Unemployment Rate 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).

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 6.2 percent.

Pharr

February 2o16: 6.3 percent; 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).

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 6.9 percent.

Brownsville

February: 6.8 percent; January 2016: 7 percent.

Monthly Unemployment Rate 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).

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 7 percent.

Weslaco

February 2016: 6 percent; January 2016: 7.1 percent.

Monthly Unemployment Rate 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).

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 7 percent.

ADDITIONAL REGIONAL ECONOMIC STATISTICS

All cities combined in Hidalgo County averaged a 7.5 percent unemployment rate in February 2016, compared with 8.1 percent 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 6.8 percent unemployment rate in February 2016, compared with 7.1 percent 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 February 2016, there were 310,914 individuals employed in Hidalgo County, while 154,660 persons were employed in Cameron County.

All cities combined in Starr County averaged a 13.9 percent unemployment rate in February 2016, compared with 14.3 percent n 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 12.2 percent unemployment rate in February 2016, compared with 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 February 2016, there were 22,493 individuals employed in Starr County, while during the same month, 5,830 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, February 2016:

• Brownsville: 69,998;
• McAllen: 60,630;
• Edinburg: 36,204
• Mission: 31,379
• Pharr: 27,256
• Harlingen: 23,277
• Weslaco: 13,523

Edinburg 2016 Employment, By Month:

• February 2016: 36,204
• January 2016: 35,791

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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