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JULY-UNEMPLOYMENT

Featured: Approximately 5,000 teachers and staff attended the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District’s General Assembly on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at the McAllen Convention Center. The school district is the largest employer in the city and in Hidalgo County. Ellie M. Torres, Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, serves on the Board of Trustees for the Edinburg school district.

Photograph By MARK MONTEMAYOR

For the second time this year, Edinburg registered the lowest unemployment rate among Valley cities, coming in at 5.5 percent for July 2016, tied with McAllen, according to statewide figures posted on Friday, August 19, 2016 by the Texas Workforce Commission. Edinburg’s 5.5 percent figure also represents the best showing for that month in the city since July 2008 (5.4 percent), the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Edinburg and McAllen, with their respective 5.5 percent monthly unemployment rates, along with Harlingen (5.9 percent), were the only three cities in deep South Texas to post figures for July 2016 under six percent, the Texas Workforce Commission also found. In addition, the Texas Workforce Commission reported that there were 35,655 people employed in Edinburg during the month of July 2016. That performance represents an increase of 567 jobs in Edinburg when comparing the employment figures for July 2016 (35,655) and July 2015 (35,088). The state’s unemployment rate in July 2016 was 5.1 percent, compared with 4.8 percent during the same month in 2015.

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Edinburg’s 5.5 percent unemployment rate for July 2016 is best showing for that month in the Valley, reports EEDC Executive Director Agustín García, Jr.

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

For the second time this year, Edinburg registered the lowest unemployment rate among Valley cities, coming in at 5.5 percent for July 2016, tied with McAllen, according to statewide figures posted on Friday, August 19, 2016 by the Texas Workforce Commission.

Edinburg’s 5.5 percent figure also represents the best showing for that month in the city since July 2008 (5.4 percent), the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

In addition to July 2016, and April 2016, when Edinburg’s unemployment rate of 4.5 percent was tied for lowest with McAllen, Edinburg in 2015 posted the Valley’s lowest 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.

During this 19-month period (January 2015 through July 2016), when Edinburg did not have the lowest monthly figure, it came in a close second to McAllen.

Edinburg and McAllen, with their respective 5.5 percent monthly unemployment rates, along with Harlingen (5.9 percent), were the only three cities in deep South Texas to post figures for July 2016 under six percent, the Texas Workforce Commission also found.

In addition, the Texas Workforce Commission reported that there were 35,655 people employed in Edinburg during the month of July 2016. That performance represents an increase of 567 jobs in Edinburg when comparing the employment figures for July 2016 (35,655) and July 2015 (35,088).

The state’s unemployment rate in July 2016 was 5.1 percent, compared with 4.8 percent during the same month in 2015.

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 Mark Iglesias as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. 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.

EDINBURG SCHOOL DISTRICT LARGEST EMPLOYER IN HIDALGO COUNTY

Approximately 5,000 teachers and staff attended the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District’s General Assembly Wednesday, August 17, 2016 at the McAllen Convention Center.

The school district is the largest employer in the city and in Hidalgo County.

As of July 2016, there were 35,655 full-time professionals in the labor force in Edinburg.

Ellie M. Torres, Secretary/Treasurer of the Board of Directors for the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, serves on the Board of Trustees for the Edinburg school district.

Edinburg C.I.S.D. Superintendent René Gutiérrez highlighted two of the district’s schools during the event – Brewster Elementary School and Edinburg High School – which are getting ready to celebrate 100-year anniversaries this school year.

“We’ve been around for more than 100 years in the Rio Grande Valley, striving, achieving and excelling at Edinburg C.I.S.D,” Gutiérrez said. “Today, we are utilizing the latest equipment and resources in technology for our teachers to use in the classroom. Speaking of teachers, we are one of the highest paying districts in the region when it comes to teachers’ salaries.”

Developing and retaining highly qualified staff is one of the goals outlined in the district’s five-year Strategic Plan for Progress, which will be launched this school year.

“In this plan, we continue excelling at high levels in academics and ensuring equal access for all students,” Gutiérrez said.

Edinburg C.I.S.D. is the largest employer in Hidalgo County and the largest school district in the county with 35,000 students projected to attend classes this year.

More than 350 of those students performed live during the event, including members of the choir, mariachis, conjunto, band and cheerleaders. The talented students acted, sang and danced to this year’s theme, “E.C.I.S.D. is Rockin’ & Rollin’ Towards Excellence!”

Also receiving special recognition during the event was Julie Garza, a music teacher at Ramirez Elementary School, who was recently named Regional Elementary Teacher of the Year. Garza will be representing the region in the statewide Teacher of the Year program.

EDINBURG’S JULY 2016 FIGURE OF 5.5 PERCENT PART OF CONSISTENT PATTERN OF ECONOMIC VITALITY

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 July 2016 figure of 5.5 percent is part of a consistent pattern of positive reports, including 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:

Edinburg

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.

McAllen

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.

Harlingen

July 2016: 5.9 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.

Mission

July 2016: 6.7 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.

Weslaco

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.

Pharr

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.

Brownsville

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 an 8.5 percent unemployment rate in July 2016, compared with 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 2o15 was 7.9 percent.

All cities combined in Cameron County averaged a 7.7 percent unemployment rate in July 2016, compared with 7.6 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 July 2016, there were 306,198 individuals employed in Hidalgo County, while 156,959 persons were employed in Cameron County during the same month.

All cities combined in Starr County averaged a 14.4 percent unemployment rate in July 2016, compared with 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 2o15 was 13.6 percent.

All cities combined in Willacy County averaged a 14.2 percent unemployment rate in July 2016, compared with 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 2o15 was 13.1 percent.

For July 2016, there were 22,145 individuals employed in Starr County, while during the same month, 5,470 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, July 2016:

• Brownsville: 71,039
• McAllen: 59,710
• Edinburg: 35,655
• Mission: 30,903
• Pharr: 26,843
• Harlingen: 23,623
• Weslaco: 13,318

Edinburg 2016 Employment, By Month:

• July 2016: 35,655
• 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

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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Romeo Cantú contributed to this story. 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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