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Featured, from left: Edinburg City Councilmember Richard Molina; Cris Torres, Vice President/Loan Officer, Greater State Bank; and Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, on Thursday, November 10, 2016, during the Edinburg Chamber Annual Installation Banquet. Torres was selected as 2016 Woman of the Year by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. The banquet was held at Memorial Event Center, 208 E. Canton Road.

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Featured, from left: Hiren Govind, Owner, TownPlace Suite by Marriott; Mike Govind, Owner, Best Western Plus and Edinburg Inn & Suites; and Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, on Thursday, November 10, 2016, during the Edinburg Chamber Annual Installation Banquet. Mike Govind was honored as the 2016 Edinburg Man of the Year by the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. The banquet was held at Memorial Event Center, 208 E. Canton Road. Mike Govind is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation.

Photographs By RONNIE LARRALDE

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Edinburg’s October 2016 unemployment rate drops below five percent, which is better than U.S. average

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg, McAllen and Weslaco were the only three Valley cities which posted unemployment rates under five percent during the month of October 2016, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, which also reported on Friday,November 18, 2016 that Edinburg saw a growth of more than 800 jobs when comparing employment in October 2016 with October 2015.

The Texas Workforce Commission reported that there were 36,389 people employed in Edinburg during the month of October 2016. That performance represents an increase of 849 jobs in Edinburg when comparing the employment figures for October 2016 (36,389) and October 2015 (35,540).

That state agency found that McAllen and Edinburg came in with 4.5 percent and 4.7 percent unemployment rates, respectively, for the month of October 2016, according to the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation.

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

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors is comprised of Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Ruppert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members.

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

In addition to July 2016, when Edinburg’s unemployment rate of 5.5 percent was tied for lowest with McAllen, Edinburg in 2015 posted the Valley’s lowest unemployment rates 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 the Texas Workforce Commission.

During this 22-month period (January 2015 through October 2016), when Edinburg did not have the lowest monthly figure, it came in a close second to McAllen.

The state’s unemployment rate in October 2016 was 4.9 percent, compared with 4.4 percent in September 2015.

The U.S. unemployment rate in October 2016 was 4.9 percent, compared with five percent the same month last year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000).

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.

Edinburg’s October 2016 figure of 4.7 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including September 2016 (5.4 percent), August 2016 (5.4 percent), July 2016 (5.5 percent), June 2016 (5.4 percent), May 2016 (4.5 percent) April 2016 (4.5 percent), March 2016 (4.7 percent), February 2016 (4.5 percent) and 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 2016, and for each month in 2015, including the annual unemployment rate for each city for 2015:

McAllen

October 2016: 4.5 percent; September 2016: 5.2 percent; August 2016: 5.4 percent; July 2016: 5.5 percent; June 2016: 5.1 percent; May 2016: 4.4 percent; April 2016: 4.5 percent; March 2016: 4.6 percent; 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

October: 4.7 percent; September: 5.4 percent; August: 5.4 percent; July 2016: 5.5 percent: June 2016: 5.4 percent: May 2016: 4.5 percent; April 2016: 4.5 percent; March 2016: 4.7 percent; 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.

Weslaco

October 2016: 4.9 percent; September 2016: 6.2 percent; August 2016: 6.5 percent; July 2016: 6.9 percent; June 2016: 6.7 percent; May 2016: 5.2 percent; April 2016: 5.3 percent; March: 6 percent; 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: 6.5 percent.

Mission

October 2016: 5.5 percent; September 2016: 6.2 percent; August: 6.3 percent; July 2016: 6.6 percent; June 2016: 6.3 percent; May 2016: 5.7 percent; April 2016: 6 percent; March 2016: 6.3 percent; 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

October: 5.6 percent; September: 6.7 percent; August 2016: 6.9 percent; July 2016: 7.1 percent: June 2016: 6.9 percent; May 2016: 5.7 percent; April 2016: 5.9 percent; March 2016: 6.3 percent; 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.

Harlingen

October: 5.7 percent; September: 6.1 percent; August: 6.2 percent; July 2016: 6 percent; June 2016: 5.7 percent; May 2016: 5.3 percent; April 2016: 5.2 percent; March 2016: 5.5 percent; 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 (5.9 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.

Brownsville

October 2016: 6.8 percent; September 2016: 7.8 percent; August 2016: 7.9 percent; July 2016: 8 percent; June: 7.8 percent; May: 6.6 percent; April: 6.7 percent; March: 6.9 percent; 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.

ADDITIONAL REGIONAL ECONOMIC STATISTICS

All cities combined in Hidalgo County averaged a 6.7 percent unemployment rate in October 2016, compared with 7.9 percent in September 2016, 8.4 percent in August 2016, 8.5 percent in July, 8.2 percent in June 2016, 7 percent in May 2016, 7.2 percent in April 2016, 7.6 percent in March 2016, 7.5 percent in February 2016, and 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 2015 was 7.9 percent.

All cities combined in Cameron County averaged a 6.6 percent unemployment rate in October 2016, compared with 7.5 percent in September 2016, 7.6 percent in August 2016, 7.7 percent in July 2016, 7.5 percent in June 2016, 6.6 percent in May 2016, 6.7 percent in April 2016, 6.9 percent in March 2016, 6.8 percent in February 2016 and 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 October 2016, there were 312,499 individuals employed in Hidalgo County, while 155,532 persons were employed in Cameron County during the same month.

All cities combined in Starr County averaged an 11.7 percent unemployment rate in October 2016, compared with 13.7 percent in September 2016, 14.1 percent in August 2016, 14.4 percent in July 2016, 14 percent in June 2016, 12.4 percent in May 2016, 13.5 percent in April 2016, 14.5 percent in March 2016, 13.9 percent in February 2016, and 14.3 percent 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 2015 was 13.6 percent.

All cities combined in Willacy County averaged an 11 percent unemployment rate in October 2016, compared with 12.8 percent in September 2016, 13.3 percent in August 2016, 14.2 percent in July 2016, 13.9 percent in June 2016, 12.4 percent in May 2016, 12.3 percent in April 2016, 12.6 percent in March 2016, 12.1 percent in February 2016, and 12.6 percent 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 2015 was 13.1 percent.

For October 2016, there were 22,584 individuals employed in Starr County, while during the same month, 5,518 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, October 2016:

• Brownsville: 70,393
• McAllen: 60,939
• Edinburg: 36,389
• Mission: 31,539
• Pharr: 27,395
• Harlingen: 23,408
• Weslaco: 13,592

Edinburg 2016 Employment, By Month:

• October 2016: 36,389
• September 2016: 36,283
• August 2016: 36,050
• July 2016: 35,725
• June 2016: 36,367
• May 2016: 36,758
• April 2016: 36,608
• March 2016: 36,649
• February 2016: 36,260
• January 2016: 35,793

Edinburg 2015 Employment, By Month:

• December 2015: 35,778
• November 2015: 35,541
• October 2015: 35,540
• September 2015: 35,327
• August 2015: 35,096
• July 2015: 35,088
• June 2015: 35,710
• May 2015: 36,112
• April 2015: 35,878
• March 2015: 35,736
• February 2015: 35,451
• January 2015: 35,392

Edinburg 2014 Employment, By Month:

• December 2014: 35,572
• November 2014: 35,601
• October 2014: 35,520
• September 2014: 35,155
• August 2014: 34,739
• July 2014: 34,645
• June 2014: 35,338
• May 2014: 35,529
• April 2014: 35,497
• March 2014: 35,336
• February 2014: 35,229
• January 2014: 35,111

Edinburg 2013 Employment, By Month:

• December 2013: 35,132
• November 2013: 34,881
• October 2013: 34,445
• September 2013: 34,370
• August 2013: 33,999
• July 2013: 33,798
• June 2013: 34,382
• May 2013: 34,546
• April 2013: 34,613
• March 2013: 34,291
• February 2013: 34,227
• January 2013: 34,167

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

• Annual Unemployment Rate: 5.8 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

• Annual Unemployment Rate: 6.9 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

TEXAS ECONOMY ADDS 13,700 JOBS IN OCTOBER

Texas grew by an estimated 13,700 nonfarm jobs in October. The state has added jobs in 18 of the past 19 months. Texas’ unemployment rate decreased to 4.4 percent in October, down slightly from 4.8 percent in September, and remained below the national rate of 4.9 percent.

“Texas employers continue to demonstrate the resiliency of the Texas economy with 207,500 jobs added over the past year,” said TWC Chairman Andrés Alcantar. “TWC and our local workforce boards remain committed to implementing responsive, market-driven solutions and fostering partnerships with industry, education and other stakeholders to support our state’s world-class employers as they continue to add jobs for Texas workers.”

The Trade, Transportation and Utilities industry recorded the largest private industry employment gain over the month with 8,200 jobs added. Financial Activities rose for a seventh consecutive month with a 4,400 job gain in October, and Manufacturing employment expanded by 2,000 jobs.

“Private-sector employment has been strong over the year with an overall job growth of 162,700, including 13,300 jobs added in October,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “I encourage all of our employers to take advantage of the programs we offer through the Skills Development Fund to help create jobs and train workers with the skills needed for today’s job market.”

The Amarillo, Lubbock and Austin-Round Rock Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSA) recorded the month’s lowest unemployment rate among Texas MSAs with a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 3.2 percent, followed by the College Station-Bryan MSA with a rate of 3.4 for October.

“Texas workers have much to offer and there are resources available to help them find the perfect occupational fit,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julián Álvarez. “I encourage all job seekers to contact their local Workforce Solutions office for assistance with job training and placement.”

An audio download with comments from Commissioner Hughs on the latest labor market data is available on the TWC website press release page. Employment estimates released by TWC are produced in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. All estimates are subject to revision.

MIKE GOVIND AND CRISS TORRES NAMED EDINBURG CHAMBER OF COMMERCE 2016 MAN AND WOMAN OF THE YEAR

It was an evening of celebration for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce (ECC) at Memorial Event Center.

The Edinburg Chamber held its Annual Installation Banquet on Thursday, November 10, 2016, when the organization recognized Mike Govind and Cris Torres as the 2016 Man and Woman of the Year.

Mike Govind is Owner of Best Western Plus and Edinburg Inn & Suites.

Cris Torres is Vice President/Loan Officer with Greater State Bank.

“It was wonderful to see over 200 community members come together to honor the amazing work of our award recipients”, said ECC President Letty González.

Congratulations also went to the other Chamber award recipients:

• 2016 Leadership Award: Judge Terry Palacios (Law Offices of García, Quintanilla and Palacios );

• 2016 Ambassador of the Year: Jennifer Vásquez (BlueWave Carwash ), and

• 2016 Fire Fighter of the Year: Antonio Salazar Jr. Edinburg Fire Department.

“The Chamber would like to thank Marty Martin (Rio Valley Realty) for his outstanding work as 2015-2016 Chairman and welcome Jacob De León (Memorial Funeral Home) as our incoming chair for 2016-2017 year,” González added.

The Man and Woman of the Year selection was based on a community-driven committee process that selected a man and woman that exceeds in professional and civic commitment and avid volunteerism within the community of Edinburg.

The Chamber of Commerce encourages everyone to nominate someone they may know who fits the criteria. For more information on the Edinburg Chamber Man and Woman of the Year, please contact the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce at 956-383-4974.

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Ronnie Larralde contributed to this article. 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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