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Featured: Dr. Marie Mora, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Professor of Economics at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, has been awarded a grant for $499,352 by the National Science Foundation to help fund the American Economic Association mentoring program. Mora, who has served as director of the program since 2013, said its goal is to help augment the number of minorities completing doctoral degrees in economics. The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.

Photograph By PAUL CHOUY

Edinburg posted an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in September 2017, representing 36,511 jobs for that month, and both figures are improvements over the previous month, when the unemployment rate in August 2017 was 6.2 percent, with 36,159 persons employed that month, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín García is Executive Director, is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy. These latest figures, prepared by the Texas Workforce Commission and released on Friday, October 20, 2017, showed that there was an increase of 352 people employed in Edinburg in September 2017 compared with August 2017. Also, Edinburg saw a growth of 473 jobs when comparing the monthly total for September 2017, (36,511) and September 2016 (36,038), according to the Edinburg EDC.  In addition, the September 2017 unemployment rate of 5.5 percent is the second-best showing in Edinburg for that month since 2008, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. The number 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 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. For the past several years, Edinburg has registered the lowest or second-lowest monthly unemployment rate among all Valley cities. Edinburg’s September 2017 unemployment rate of 5.5 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including August 2017 (6.2 percent), July (5.7 percent), June 2017 (5.9), May 2017 (5.4 percent), April 2017 (5.4 percent), March 2017 (6 percent), February 2017 (6.4 percent) and January 2017 (6.2 percent). 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. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García are not related.

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Edinburg EDC: Edinburg’s unemployment rate improves to 5.5 percent for September 2017; 36,511 persons were employed in city that month

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

Edinburg posted an unemployment rate of 5.5 percent in September 2017, representing 36,511 jobs for that month, and both figures are improvements over the previous month, when the unemployment rate in August 2017 was 6.2 percent, with 36,159 persons employed that month, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

The Edinburg EDC, of which Agustín 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.

Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Agustín García are not related.

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

These latest figures, prepared by the Texas Workforce Commission and released on Friday, October 20, 2017, showed that there was an increase of 352 people employed in Edinburg in September 2017 compared with August 2017.

Also, Edinburg saw a growth of 473 jobs when comparing the monthly total for September 2017, (36,511) and September 2016 (36,038), according to the Edinburg EDC.

In addition, the September 2017 unemployment rate of 5.5 percent is the second-best showing in Edinburg for that month since 2008, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

The number 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 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 and McAllen, which posted an unemployment rate for September 2017 of 4.8 percent, compared favorably with other large population centers in the Valley, which reported unemployment rates ranging from 5.9 percent (Harlingen) to 7.7 percent (Pharr).

During 2017, Edinburg has recorded one of the lowest unemployment rates among Valley cities in April and May, and came in with the second-lowest unemployment rates during the other months in 2017 through July.

McAllen, which came in with a 5.4 percent unemployment in May 2017, tied Edinburg for the best showing for that month.

For the past several years, Edinburg has registered the lowest or second-lowest monthly unemployment rate among all Valley cities.

Edinburg’s September 2017 unemployment rate of 5.5 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including August 2017 (6.2 percent), July (5.7 percent), June 2017 (5.9), May 2017 (5.4 percent), 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 September 2017, these are the employment figures for the seven largest cities in the Valley:

Brownsville: 70,341
McAllen: 60,797
Edinburg: 36,511
Mission: 31,417
Pharr: 27,420
Harlingen: 23,233
Weslaco: 14,066

CITY’S MONTHLY, ANNUAL UNEMPLOYMENT REMAIN AMONG BEST IN VALLEY

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

McAllen: 4.8 percent
Edinburg: 5.5 percent
Harlingen: 5.9 percent
Mission: 6.4 percent
Brownsville: 6.6 percent
Weslaco: 7.4 percent
Pharr: 7.7 percent

The state’s unemployment rate in September 2017 was 4.0 percent, compared with 4.8 percent in September 2016.

The U.S. unemployment rate in September 2017 was 4.2 percent, compared with 4.9 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; and
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:

September: 36,511
August: 36,159
July: 36,101
June: 36,601
May: 36,856
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:

McALLEN

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

September: 4.8 percent
August: 5.5 percent
July: 5.2 percent
June: 5.7 percent
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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EDINBURG

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

September 2017: 5.5
August: 6.2 percent
July: 5.7 percent
June: 5.9 percent
May: 5.4 percent
April: 5.4 percent
March: 6 percent
February: 6.4 percent
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: 5.8 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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HARLINGEN

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

September: 5.9 percent
August: 6.8 percent
July: 6.5 percent
June: 7 percent
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

September: 6.4 percent
August: 7.2 percent
July: 7.0 percent
June: 7.5 percent
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

September: 6.6 percent
August: 7.6 percent
July: 7.4 percent
June: 8.3 percent
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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PHARR

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

September: 7.7 percent
August: 9.o percent
July: 8.5 percent
June: 9.4 percent
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 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
January: 7.7 percent

2015 Annual Unemployment Rate: 6.9 percent

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WESLACO

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

September: 7.4 percent
August: 9.2 percent
July: 9.0 percent
June: 9.2 percent
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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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

September: 6.9 percent
August: 7.9 percent
July: 7.6 percent
June: 8.3 percent
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

September: 6.4 percent
August: 7.4 percent
July: 7.0 percent
June: 7.8 percent
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 2o16 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 2o15 was 7.1 percent.

Also for September 2017, there were 312,216 individuals employed in Hidalgo County, while 155,355 persons were employed in Cameron County during the same month.

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STARR COUNTY

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

September: 9.7 percent
August: 11.1 percent
July: 11.3 percent
June: 12.6 percent
May: 11.9 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 2o16 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 2o15 was 13.5 percent.

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WILLACY COUNTY

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

September: 9.6 percent
August: 11.1 percent
July: 11.7 percent
June: 12.6 percent
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 2o16 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 2o15 was 13 percent.

For September 2017, there were 22,698 individuals employed in Starr County, while during the same month, 5,583 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’s Mora receives NSF grant to increase number of minorities in economics

The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year NSF grant for $499,352 to Dr. Marie Mora, Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Professor of Economics at The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, along with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and its Board of Directors, lobby the Texas Legislature and the UT System Board of Regents on matters that benefit and protect UTRGV and its School of Medicine, which have major campuses in the city.

The announcement was made on Friday, October 13, 2017.

Mora said the grant, which commenced Sept. 15, will provide funding for the American Economic Association’s mentoring program.

Since 2013, Mora has served as director of the program, which began in the late 1990s and seeks to increase the number of minorities completing doctoral degrees in economics.

In 2015, Hispanics represented 17.6 percent of the total U.S. population, blacks accounted for 13.9 percent, and American Indians and Alaska Natives, 1.7 percent. However, among economics faculty members who were U.S. citizens or permanent residents employed full-time at U.S. institutions, only 3.9 percent were Hispanic and 1.7 percent were black in 2014-15 (with the percentage of Native Americans too small to be publicly reported).

Many suspect the reason for such disparity is a lack of support students may feel while completing their studies, Mora said.

“Often, a student will be the only minority in his or her program, which can make them feel isolated and, in turn, makes it more likely for them to not complete their degree,” she said. “Many of these students are first-generation college students as well.”

She believes having more minority representation in the field of economics could lead to more inclusive ideas when it comes to policy decisions and the information that is available to policymakers.

“One of the reasons we are concerned is because many policy decisions are made that affect minority populations, yet there are not many minority perspectives in the field,” Mora said.

The mentoring program connects minority students seeking a Ph.D. in economics with university faculty members or other professional economists who serve as a vital resource to promote their academic success.

The NSF grant also will provide funding for travel and collaborative research at the Summer Mentoring Pipeline Conference, where the mentors and mentees meet to network and share research.

Having the program housed at UTRGV brings new opportunities to students wishing to pursue a career in economics, as well as the community as a whole.

“Having the AEA Mentoring Program housed at UTRGV has provided undergraduate students at that institution with new information about the importance of studying economics as well as the opportunities (e.g., various Ph.D. programs) that exist across the nation,” Mora wrote in her proposal. “In addition, an economically literate population in south Texas is particularly important for the future direction of the state and nation, given the area’s relatively high poverty rates and low median family income.”

ABOUT UTRGV

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas.

This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions.

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.

READ MORE ABOUT DR. MORA

Hispanic Heritage Month: Economist Marie Mora Shares Perspective on Mentoring: http://nationalsciencefoundation.tumblr.com/post/166251885193/hispanic-heritage-month-economist-marie-mora

Mora receives national award for efforts on diversity, higher education: http://www.utrgv.edu/en-us/about-utrgv/news/press-releases/2016/march-08-utrgvs-mora-receives-national-award-for-efforts-on-diversity-higher-education/index.htm

Mora receive Leaders in STEM Award: http://www.utrgv.edu/en-us/about-utrgv/news/press-releases/2017/july-17-utrgv-rodriguez-lozano-and-mora-receive-leaders-in-stem-award/index.htm

National policymakers in D.C. continue to rely on UTRGV professor’s expertise: http://www.utrgv.edu/en-us/about-utrgv/news/press-releases/2016/november-03-national-policymakers-in-d-c-continue-to-rely-on-utrgv-professor-s-expertise/index.htm

Mora shares expertise with Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen: http://www.utrgv.edu/en-us/about-utrgv/news/press-releases/2016/june-21-utrgvs-dr-marie-mora-shares-expertise-with-federal-reserve-chair-janet-yellen/index.htm

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J. Edward Moreno 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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