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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has purchased this existing shell building on Crosspoint Boulevard in Edinburg to house the UTRGV School of Medicine Pediatrics Clinic. The sale was finalized in May and project completion is estimated for September 2017. The UTRGV School of Medicine was created in May 2013 through Senate Bill 24 by Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, serving as the primary author, and Rep. René Oliveira, D-Brownsville, serving as primary sponsor. The rest of the Valley legislative delegation played key roles in the creation of the medical school in Edinburg, serving as joint authors and cosponsors of SB 24. The Edinburg Mayor, Edinburg City Council, and the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on behalf of UTRGV in Edinburg and the UTRGV School of Medicine in Edinburg.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Jobs in Edinburg’s medical and health care professions will continue to grow following news on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine that it will establish a Pediatrics Clinic in the community. Edinburg – which for numerous consecutive years has registered the lowest or second lowest unemployment rate among all Valley cities, for the month of May 2017 posted the best figure, at 5.4 percent, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. This is the second consecutive month that Edinburg has posted the lowest unemployment rate in the Valley. The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García 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 Gus García are not related.

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Edinburg EDC announces that for the second consecutive month, Edinburg posted the lowest monthly unemployment rate – 5.4 percent – among all Valley cities for May 2017

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg, which for numerous consecutive years has registered the lowest or second-lowest unemployment rate among all Valley cities, for the month of May 2017 posted the best figure, at 5.4 percent, for the second month in a row, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

McAllen, which came in with a 5.6 percent unemployment rate in April 2017, tied Edinburg for the best showing for May 2017, with its own 5.4 percent unemployment rate.

Both cities were the only Valley communities with unemployment rates under six percent for May 2017, according to preliminary data released on Friday, June 16, 2017 by the Texas Workforce Commission.

This latest data also showed that Edinburg saw a growth of 321 jobs when comparing the monthly totals of May 2017 (36,850) and May 2016 (36,529), according to the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation.

The continued growth of jobs in Edinburg is independently documented by the Texas Workforce Commission, a state agency with many key duties, such as maintaining and reporting on key trends in state and local economies, including unemployment rates and the number of people employed in cities.

The Edinburg EDC, of which Gus García 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 Gus García are not related.

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.

Edinburg’s May 2017 unemployment rate of 5.4 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including April 2017 (5.4 percent), March 2017 (6 percent), February 2017 (6.4 percent) and January 2017 (6.2 percent).

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, for the month of May 2017, these are the employment figures for the seven largest cities in the Valley:

Brownsville: 70,739
McAllen: 61,362
Edinburg: 36,850
Mission: 31,709
Pharr: 27,674
Harlingen: 23,365
Weslaco: 14,197

CITY’S MONTHLY, ANNUAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATES BEST IN VALLEY

Edinburg’s May 2017 unemployment rate and the latest figures from the Valley’s most populated cities follow:

Edinburg: 5.4 percent
McAllen: 5.4 percent
Harlingen: 6.6 percent
Mission: 6.7 percent
Brownsville: 7.2 percent
Weslaco: 7.8 percent
Pharr: 8.2 percent

The state’s unemployment rate in May 2017 was 4.4 percent, compared with 4.3 percent in May 2016.

The U.S. unemployment rate in May 2017 was 4.3 percent, compared with 4.7 percent the same month the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Edinburg’s annual unemployment rate for 2016 compared favorably with the Valley’s other major cities:

The annual unemployment rate in McAllen for 2016 was 5.4 percent;
The annual unemployment rate in Edinburg for 2016 was 5.9 percent;
The annual unemployment rate in Harlingen for 2o16 was 6.1 percent;
The annual unemployment rate in Mission for 2o16 was 7.4 percent;
The annual unemployment rate in Brownsville for 2o16 was 7.8 percent;
The annual unemployment rate in Weslaco for 2o16 was 8.1 percent;
The annual unemployment rate in Pharr for 2o16 was 8.3 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: 2016 (5.9); 2015 (5) 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).

Edinburg’s 2017 employment, by month, follows:

May: 36,850
April: 36,909
March: 36,862
February: 36,621
January: 36,246

Also according to the Texas Workforce Commission, the major cities in the four-county Valley have recorded the following monthly unemployment rates in 2017, 2016, and 2015:

EDINBURG

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

May: 5.4 percent
April: 5.4 percent
March: 6 percent
February: 6.4
January: 6.2 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2016

December: 5.9 percent
November: 5.7 percent
October: 5.8 percent
September: 6.3 percent
August: 6.3 percent
July 2016: 6.5 percent
June 2016: 6.5 percent
May 2016: 5.4 percent
April 2016: 5.5 percent
March 2016: 5.6 percent
February 2016: 5.5 percent
January 2016: 5.9 percent

2016 Annual Unemployment Rate: 5.9 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: 4.6 percent
March: 4.8 percent
February: 4.9 percent
January: 5.2 percent

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 5 percent

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McALLEN

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017:

May: 5.4 percent
April: 5.6 percent
March: 6 percent
February: 6.2 percent
January: 5.9 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2016:

December: 5.4 percent
November: 5.2 percent
October: 5.3 percent
September: 5.7 percent
August: 5.9 percent
July: 6 percent
June: 5.8 percent
May: 5 percent
April: 5 percent
March: 5.1 percent
February: 5.1 percent
January: 5.3 percent

2016 Annual Unemployment Rate: 5.4 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate 2015

December: 4.5 percent
November: 4.8 percent
October: 4.9 percent
September: 5.1 percent
August: 5.2 percent
July: 5.6 percent
June: 5.4 percent
May: 4.9 percent
April: 4.5 percent
March: 4.7 percent
February: 4.9 percent
January: 5.2 percent

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 5 percent

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HARLINGEN

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017:

May: 6.6 percent
April: 6.9 percent
March: 7.4 percent
February: 7.5 percent
January: 7 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2016:

December: 6.2 percent
November: 6.1 percent
October: 6.4 percent
September: 6.4 percent
August: 6.5 percent
July 2016: 6.3 percent
June 2016: 6.3 percent
May 2016: 5.7 percent
April 2016: 5.7 percent
March 2016: 5.8 percent
February 2016: 5.9 percent
January 2016: 5.9 percent

2016 Annual Unemployment Rate: 6.1

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2015:

December: 5.3 percent
November: 5.6 percent
October: 5.7 percent
September: 5.9 percent
August: 6.3 percent
July: 6.5 percent
June: 6.4 percent
May: 5.9 percent
April: 5.6 percent
March: 5.7 percent
February: 6 percent
January: 6.5 percent

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 6 percent

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MISSION

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

May: 6.7 percent
April: 7.3 percent
March: 7.9 percent
February: 8.1 percent
January: 8.3 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2016

December: 7.4 percent
November: 7.1 percent
October: 6.9 percent
September: 7.2 percent
August: 7.5 percent
July: 7.9 percent
June: 7.9 percent
May: 6.9 percent
April: 7.1 percent
March: 7.4 percent
February: 7.4 percent
January: 7.7 percent

2016 Annual Unemployment Rate: 7.4 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate 2015

December: 6.1 percent
November: 6.1 percent
October: 6.1 percent
September: 6.1 percent
August: 6.5 percent
July: 6.7 percent
June: 6.7 percent
May: 6.1 percent
April: 5.7 percent
March: 5.8 percent
February: 6 percent
January: 6.5 percent

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 6.2 percent

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BROWNSVILLE

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

May: 7.2 percent
April: 7.9 percent
March: 8.2 percent
February: 8.7 percent
January: 8.8 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2016

December: 8.1 percent
November: 7.7 percent
October: 7.5 percent
September 2016: 8.1 percent
August 2016: 8.3 percent
July 2016: 8.5 percent
June: 8.6 percent
May: 7.2 percent
April: 7.2 percent
March: 7.3 percent
February: 7.3 percent
January 2016: 7.6 percent

2016 Annual Unemployment Rate: 7.8 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: 7.2 percent
February: 7.3 percent
January: 8 percent

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 7 percent.

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WESLACO

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

May: 7.8 percent
April: 7.8 percent
March: 8.3 percent
February: 8.8 percent
January: 9.8 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2016

December 2016: 9.7 percent
November 2016: 8.3 percent
October 2016: 6.7 percent
September 2016: 8.2 percent
August 2016: 8.8 percent
July 2016: 9.3 percent
June 2016: 8.9 percent
May 2016: 6.9 percent
April 2016: 7 percent
March: 7.8 percent
February 2016: 7.6 percent
January 2016: 8.5 percent.

2016 Annual Unemployment Rate: 8.1 percent.

Monthly Unemployment Rate 2015

December: 6.8 percent
November: 6.5 percent
October: 5.8 percent
September: 6.6 percent
August: 6.8 percent
July: 6.6 percent
June: 6.3 percent
May: 6 percent
April: 5.7 percent
March: 6 percent
February: 6.5 percent
January: 7.3 percent

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 6.4 percent

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PHARR

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

May: 8.2 percent
April: 8.6 percent
March: 9.3 percent
February: 9.4 percent
January: 9.9 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2016

December 2016: 8.9 percent
November 2016: 8 percent
October 2016: 7.2 percent
September: 8.1 percent
August 2016: 8.7 percent
July 2016: 9 percent
June 2016: 9.2 percent
May 2016: 7.5 percent
April 2016: 7.8 percent
March 2016: 8.1 percent
February 2o16: 8.3 percent
January 2016: 8.9 percent

2016 Annual Unemployment Rate: 8.3 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2015

December: 7.2 percent
November: 7 percent
October: 6.4 percent
September: 6.6 perent
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
January: 7.7 percent

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 6.9 percent

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ADDITIONAL REGIONAL ECONOMIC STATISTICS

Also according to the Texas Workforce Commission, the four counties in the Rio Grande Valley have recorded the following monthly unemployment rates in 2017, 2016, and 2015:

HIDALGO COUNTY

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

May: 7.5 percent
April: 8 percent
March: 8.5 percent
February: 8.8 percent
January: 9 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2016

December: 8.2 percent
November: 7.6 percent
October: 7.1 percent
September: 7.9 percent
August: 8.3 percent
July: 8.5 percent
June: 8.4 percent
May: 7.1 percent
April: 7.3 percent
March: 7.7 percent
February: 7.8 percent
January: 8.2 percent

The annual combined unemployment rate for all cities in Hidalgo County for 2o16 was 7.8 percent.

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2015

December: 7.9 percent
November: 7.8 percent
October: 7.4 percent
September: 7.7 percent
August: 8.2 percent
July: 8.5 percent
June: 8.4 percent
May: 7.6 percent
April: 7.4 percent
March: 7.7 percent
February: 8 percent
January: 8.5 percent

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

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CAMERON COUNTY

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

May: 7 percent
April: 7.5 percent
March: 7.9 percent
February: 8.3 percent
January: 8.1 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2016

December: 7.4 percent
November: 7 percent
October: 6.9 percent
September: 7.4 percent
August: 7.5 percent
July: 7.7 percent
June: 7.8 percent
May: 6.7 percent
April: 6.8 percent
March: 7 percent
February: 7 percent
January: 7.2 percent

The annual combined unemployment rate for all cities in Cameron County for 2016 was 7.2 percent.

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2015

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: 7.2 percent
February: 7.4 percent
January: 8 percent

The annual combined unemployment rate in Cameron County for 2015 was 7.1 percent.

Also for May 2017, there were 315,114 individuals employed in Hidalgo County, while 156,235 persons were employed in Cameron County during the same month.

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STARR COUNTY

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

May: 11.8 percent
April: 14 percent
March: 14.9 percent
February: 15.6 percent
January: 15.8 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2016

December: 14.1 percent
November: 13 percent
October: 12.2 percent
September: 13.4 percent
August: 13.9 percent
July: 14.3 percent
June: 14.2 percent
May: 12.5 percent
April: 13.5 percent
March: 14.3 percent
February: 13.9 percent
January: 14.2 percent

The annual combined unemployment rate for all cities in Starr County for 2016 was 13.6 percent.

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2015

December: 13.4 percent
November: 13.4 percent
October: 12.6 percent
September: 12.6 percent
August: 13.6 percent
July: 14.1 percent
June: 14.2 percent
May: 13 percent
April: 13 percent
March: 13.7 percent
February: 13.8 percent
January: 14.4 percent

The annual combined unemployment rate in Starr County for 2015 was 13.5 percent.

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WILLACY COUNTY

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

May: 12.3 percent
April: 13.3 percent
March: 13.3 percent
February: 13.2 percent
January: 12.7 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2016

December: 11.2 percent
November: 11.1 percent
October: 11.2 percent
September: 12.2 percent
August: 12.8 percent
July: 13.8 percent
June: 13.8 percent
May: 12.4 percent
April: 12.3 percent
March: 12.5 percent
February: 12.4 percent
January: 12.6 percent

The annual combined unemployment rate for all cities in Willacy County for 2016 was 12.4 percent.

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2015

December: 12.1 percent
November: 12.6 percent
October: 12.9 percent
September: 12.5 percent
August: 13.7 percent
July: 14.3 percent
June: 14.6 percent
May: 13.5 percent
April: 13.4 percent
March: 13.2 percent
February: 11.7 percent
January: 12.1 percent

The annual combined unemployment rate for all cities in Willacy County for 2015 was 13 percent.

For May 2017, there were 23,227 individuals employed in Starr County, while during the same month, 5,662 persons were employed in Willacy County.

MORE DETAILED FIGURES ON NUMBER OF JOBS, UNEMPLOYMENT RATES FOR EDINBURG

More detailed information about the labor market and unemployment rates in Edinburg follows:

Edinburg 2016 Employment, By Month

December: 36,476
November: 36,287
October: 36,139
September 2016: 36,038
August 2016: 35,812
July 2016: 35,545
June 2016: 36,234
May 2016: 36,529
April 2016: 36,494
March 2016: 36,340
February 2016: 36,017
January 2016: 35,675

Edinburg 2015 Employment, By Month

December: 35,837
November: 35,803
October: 35,490
September: 35,225
August: 35,025
July: 34,978
June: 35,634
May: 36,029
April: 35,790
March: 35,665
February: 35,416
January: 35,308

Edinburg 2014 Employment, By Month

December 2014: 35,501
November 2014: 35,542
October 2014: 35,456
September 2014: 35,080
August 2014: 34,681
July 2014: 34,583
June 2014: 35,295
May 2014: 35,495
April 2014: 35,462
March 2014: 35,301
February 2014: 35,204
January 2014: 35,053

Edinburg 2013 Employment, By Month

December: 35,071
November: 34,824
October: 34,364
September: 34,291
August: 33,942
July: 33,735
June: 34,333
May: 34,504
April: 34,568
March: 34,241
February: 34,196
January: 34,111

Edinburg Monthly Unemployment Rates, 2014

December: 4.7 percent
November: 5.2 percent
October: 5.5 percent
September: 5.7 percent
August: 6.4 percent
July: 6.6 percent
June: 6.5 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: 7.3 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

UTRGV SCHOOL OF MEDICINE TO OPEN SPECIALTY PEDIATRICS CLINIC IN EDINBURG

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine is planning to open a pediatrics clinic soon, to help meet the needs of specialty pediatric care in the community.

The goal is to fill in gaps in access to specialty care for children for subspecialties like neurology or pulmonology.

Families often have to travel to San Antonio, Houston or Corpus Christi to seek treatment for their children, said Dr. Robert Nelson, senior associate dean for Faculty Matters and chair of the Department of Pediatrics for the UTRGV School of Medicine.

“Many parents can’t afford the time off, or don’t have the transportation to do it,” Nelson said. “We’re excited about helping meet the needs of children in the Valley.”

UTRGV recently used $544,000 it received in Permanent University Funds (PUF) to purchase an existing shell building at 4150 Crosspoint Blvd. in Edinburg, which will house the clinic. The sale was finalized in May, said Mark Saenz, chief real estate and space planning officer for UTRGV.

From this facility, the School of Medicine plans to offer care in pediatric pulmonology, environmental health and pediatric subspecialties including developmental pediatrics and pediatric neurology and genetics, Nelson said.

The clinic will allow Dr. Humberto Hidalgo, clinical associate professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics and a pediatric pulmonologist, to expand the pediatric lung clinic he manages, as well as provide space for other subspecialties.

It also will be used in the future to train medical residents and medical students, Nelson said.

The School of Medicine is actively recruiting physicians in various pediatric subspecialties.

“We are targeting the specialties that we need for the residency, or ones where there needs to be increased capacity in the Valley,” he said.

The approximately 9,000-square-foot facility will include:

• 27 exam rooms, which include eight pediatric exam rooms and one procedure room.
• Reception area.
• Waiting area with a children’s play and reading Nook.
• Nurses’ stations.
• Physicians’ work area.
• Conference room.
• Laboratory.
• Injection prep room.
• Two private consulting rooms.
• Restrooms.
• Storage.
• A staff break room.

UTRGV has hired McAllen-based Boultinghouse Simpson Gates as the architect; Spawglass is the general contractor.

Juan Carlos Ortiz Jr., UTRGV facilities project manager, said completion for the pediatric clinic project is projected for September 2017.

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Jennifer Berghom 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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