Select Page

For second consecutive month, during August 2018, McAllen only city in the Valley with unemployment rate of less than five percent, according to Texas Workforce Commission

Featured: Several of the dozens of participants listen to presentations made on Friday, September 28, 2018 in McAllen during the 6th Annual Binational Innovation Conference (INNO), held in McAllen and hosted by South Texas College, as part of STC’s efforts to help prepare students for the workforce and jobs of the future.

Photograph Courtesy JOSÉ GÓMEZ

••••••

For second consecutive month, during August 2018, McAllen only city in the Valley with unemployment rate of less than five percent, according to Texas Workforce Commission

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

For the second consecutive month, during August 2018, McAllen was the only city in the Rio Grande Valley with an unemployment rate of under five percent, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

McAllen’s latest unemployment rate of 4.9 percent was followed closely by Edinburg, which reported an unemployment rate of 5 percent for August 2018.

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

The August 2018 unemployment rates for the Valley’s most populated cities follow:

McAllen: 4.9 percent
Edinburg: 5 percent
Harlingen: 5.7 percent
Mission: 6 percent
Brownsville: 6.3 percent
Pharr: 7.5 percent
Weslaco: 7.9 percent

The state’s unemployment rate in August 2018 was 3.9 percent, compared with 4.4 percent in August 2017.

The U.S. unemployment rate in August 2018 was 3.9 percent, compared with 4.4 percent the same month the previous year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor (https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000).

The number of jobs in cities and counties statewide 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.

According to the Texas Workforce Commission, for the month of August 2018, these are the employment figures, in terms of jobs, for the seven largest cities in the Valley:

Brownsville: 70,370
McAllen: 61,986
Edinburg: 38,087
Mission: 31,694
Pharr: 27,856
Harlingen: 23,169
Weslaco: 14,345

Also according to the Texas Workforce Commission, the major cities in the four-county Valley have recorded the following monthly unemployment rates during 2018 and 2017:

McALLEN

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2018

August: 4.9 percent
July: 4.9 percent
June: 5.1 percent
May: 4.5 percent
April: 4.8 percent
March: 5 percent
February: 4.9 percent
January: 5 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

December: 4.4 percent
November: 4.5 percent
October: 4.4 percent
September: 4.7 percent
August: 5.4 percent
July: 5.4 percent
June: 5.4 percent
May: 5.1 percent
April: 5 percent
March: 5.4 percent
February: 5.8 percent
January: 5.8 percent

2017 Annual Unemployment Rate: 5.1 percent

••••••

EDINBURG

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2018

August: 5 percent
July: 5.1 percent
June: 5.2 percent
May: 4.5 percent
April: 4.5 percent
March: 4.7 percent
February: 4.9 percent
January: 5.2 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

December: 4.8 percent
November 2017: 4.8 percent
October 2017: 4.9 percent
September 2017: 5.3 percent
August: 6 percent
July: 5.7 percent
June: 5.6 percent
May: 4.9 percent
April: 4.8 percent
March: 5.4 percent
February: 5.9 percent
January: 6.1 percent

2017 Annual Unemployment Rate: 5.3 percent

••••••

HARLINGEN

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2018

August: 5.7 percent
July: 6.1 percent
June: 6.4 percent
May: 6 percent
April: 5.8 percent
March: 6.1 percent
February: 6.2 percent
January: 6 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

December: 5.4 percent
November: 5.9 percent
October: 5.5 percent
September: 5.9 percent
August: 6.7 percent
July: 6.7 percent
June: 6.6 percent
May: 6.2 percent
April: 6.3 percent
March: 6.8 percent
February: 7.1 percent
January: 7 percent

2017 Annual Unemployment Rate: 6.4 percent

••••••

MISSION

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2018

August: 6 percent
July: 6.4 percent
June: 6.6 percent
May: 5.6 percent
April: 6 percent
March: 6.1 percent
February: 6 percent
January: 6.4 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

December: 5.7 percent
November: 5.7 percent
October: 5.7 percent
September: 6.4 percent
August: 7.1 percent
July: 7.2 percent
June: 7.2 percent
May: 6.3 percent
April: 6.6 percent
March: 7.2 percent
February: 7.7 percent
January: 8.3 percent

2017 Annual Unemployment Rate: 6.8 percent

••••••

BROWNSVILLE

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2018

August: 6.3 percent
July: 6.6 percent
June: 7.1 percent
May: 6.1 percent
April: 6.5 percent
March: 6.7 percent
February: 6.9 percent
January: 7.1 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

December: 6.1 percent
November: 6 percent
October: 5.8 percent
September: 6.6 percent
August: 7.5 percent
July: 7.6 percent
June: 7.9 percent
May: 6.8 percent
April: 7.2 percent
March: 7.4 percent
February: 8.2 percent
January: 8.8 percent

2017 Annual Unemployment Rate: 7.2 percent

••••••

PHARR

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2018

August: 7.5 percent
July: 7.8 percent
June: 7.9 percent
May: 6.7 percent
April: 7.4 percent
March: 7.5 percent
February: 7.6 percent
January: 8.3 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

December: 7.1 percent
November: 6.9 percent
October: 6.4 percent
September: 7.6 percent
August: 8.9 percent
July: 8.7 percent
June: 8.9 percent
May: 7.6 percent
April: 7.8 percent
March: 8.5 percent
February: 8.8 percent
January: 9.8 percent

2017 Annual Unemployment Rate: 8.1 percent

••••••

WESLACO

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2018

August: 7.9 percent
July: 8.5 percent
June: 8.5 percent
May: 7 percent
April: 7.4 percent
March: 7.2 percent
February: 7.3 percent
January: 8.6 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

December: 8 percent
November: 7.2 percent
October: 6 percent
September: 7.3 percent
August: 9 percent
July: 9.2 percent
June: 8.8 percent
May: 7.2 percent
April: 7.1 percent
March: 7.5 percent
February: 8.2 percent
January: 9.7 percent

2017 Annual Unemployment Rate: 8 percent

••••••

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 2018 and 2017:

HIDALGO COUNTY

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2018

August: 6.6 percent
July: 7 percent
June: 7.2 percent
May: 6.2 percent
April: 6.6 percent
March: 6.9 percent
February: 7.1 percent
January: 7.6 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

December: 6.6 percent
November: 6.3 percent
October: 5.9 percent
September: 6.8 percent
August: 7.8 percent
July: 7.8 percent
June: 7.9 percent
May: 7 percent
April: 7.3 percent
March: 7.7 percent
February: 8.3 percent
January: 9 percent

The annual combined unemployment rate for all cities in Hidalgo County for 2o17 was 7.4 percent.

••••••

CAMERON COUNTY

August: 6.2 percent
July: 6.5 percent
June: 6.9 percent
May: 6 percent
April: 6.3 percent
March: 6.5 percent
February: 6.7 percent
January: 6.8 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

December: 5.9 percent
November: 5.9 percent
October: 5.8 percent
September: 6.4 percent
August: 7.2 percent
July: 7.2 percent
June: 7.5 percent
May: 6.6 percent
April: 6.8 percent
March: 7.2 percent
February: 7.8 percent
January: 8.2 percent

The annual combined unemployment rate for all cities in Cameron County for 2o17 was 6.9 percent.

Also for August 2018, there were 316,778 individuals employed in Hidalgo County, while 155,465 persons were employed in Cameron County during the same month.

••••••

STARR COUNTY

August: 9.1 percent
July: 10.2 percent
June: 11 percent
May: 9.6 percent
April: 10.7 percent
March: 10.8 percent
February: 11.4 percent
January: 12.2 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

December: 10.1 percent
November: 9.4 percent
October: 8.7 percent
September: 9.7 percent
August: 10.9 percent
July: 11.4 percent
June: 11.9 percent
May: 11 percent
April: 12.6 percent
March: 13.4 percent
February: 14.7 percent
January: 15.7 percent

The annual combined unemployment rate in Starr County for 2o17 was 11.7 percent.

••••••

WILLACY COUNTY

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2018

August: 9.6 percent
July: 11.4 percent
June: 11.8 percent
May: 11 percent
April: 11.2 percent
March: 11.1 percent
February: 11.4 percent
January: 11 percent

Monthly Unemployment Rate, 2017

December: 9 percent
November: 8.8 percent
October: 8.9 percent
September: 9.6 percent
August: 11.1 percent
July: 12 percent
June: 11.7 percent
May: 11.3 percent
April: 11.7 percent
March: 12.1 percent
February: 12.5 percent
January: 12.9 percent

The annual combined unemployment rate in Willacy County for 2o17 was 11 percent.

Also for August 2018, there were 22,662 individuals employed in Starr County, while 5,465 persons were employed in Cameron County during the same month.

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

IMPACT OF FUTURE WORKFORCE HIGHLIGHTS 6TH ANNUAL BINATIONAL INNOVATION CONFERENCE (INNO) AT SOUTH TEXAS COLLEGE

There is an urgent need to ensure that students are ready for the jobs of the future. Now more than ever, college graduates with real world experience are needed for even the most entry-level of jobs, according to economists with the Federal Reserve who spoke at South Texas College’s 6th Annual Binational Innovation Conference (INNO) on Friday, September 28, 2018.

The event, held at STC’s Pecan Campus, welcomed distinguished leaders in industry, education, and economic development, who each brought pertinent information focused on innovation and the impact of students on the future workforce.

“STC ensures that its educational programs replicate what happens in the real world and that there is direct crossover,” said Dr. Kevin Peek, economics faculty with STC and emcee for INNO. “We strive to ensure that while students are learning, they also have an opportunity to be out in the real world acquiring experience.”

INNO is the name of the bi-national collaborative effort between STC and El Instituto Internacional de Estudios Superiores (IIES) in Reynosa, Mexico that provides entrepreneurs and the business community with information about new cross-border economic opportunities.

“We need to make sure that we have our citizens and our students ready for the jobs of the future,” said Ricardo Olivares, Program Chair for Business Administration at STC. “We are having this event to make sure we collaborate with the community, and with our partners in Mexico to make sure that STC remains a strong force for our citizens here in the Rio Grande Valley.”

Notable speakers at the event, which was held from 8:30 am. to 1:30 p.m., included:

• Blake Hastings, an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, who gave an economic overview of the South Texas region including the Rio Grande Valley.

• Julián Álvarez, Commissioner Representing Labor for Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Alvarez spoke on developing a future workforce using soft skills and technology.

• Dr. Daniel King, Superintendent, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District. King addressed education and workforce development vital to the Texas economy.

• An afternoon panel discussion with economic experts Marie McDermott, Executive Director, Weslaco Economic Development Corporation; Víctor Pérez, Executive Director, Pharr Economic Development Corporation; Joey Treviño, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Sergio Contreras, President and CEO, RGV Partnership; Ramiro Garza, President, RG Economic Advisors; and Rose Benavídez, Member, Board of Trustees, South Texas College, and President of Starr Industrial Foundation.

“I want to personally applaud what you and the business community are doing here in McAllen as it relates to not only solving the workforce issue for your community but for being exemplary throughout the rest of the state and perhaps the rest of the country,” Hastings said. “It works best when the model is simple and direct between employers and those producing the future workforce, and the model created here at STC is truly exemplary.”

Over the years, thousands of students have studied at STC and entered or re-entered the workforce with newly acquired skills. The accumulated contribution of former students currently employed in the state workforce amounted to $325.4 million in added income, according to an economic study produced by the college.

As the skill sets of employees rise, there is an increase in salary that follows. By developing their skill sets, not only do students receive the opportunity to earn more money, they become a more valued member of their respective companies.

“Moving forward, every single program that we have, has that component of real-world experience,” said Mario Reyna, Dean of Business, Technology and Public Safety at STC. “Employers are looking for people who have skills, and not necessarily from a four-year college degree. They want people to demonstrate that they have a skill. They want to know they can do something. So that’s where the conversation is right now at the national level.”

••••••

José Gómez  contributed to this article. For more on this and other stories relating to the Texas Legislature, log on to Titans of the Texas Legislature.

Share This

Share this post with your friends!