The vast majority of Rio Grande Valley cities have lowered their unemployment rates and added jobs over the last year, according the Texas Workforce Commission’s latest statistics released by the state agency.
RGV cities and the two Metropolitan Statistical Areas they fall into added thousands of jobs to local payrolls, February 2014 figures show. Combined, the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission and Brownsville-Harlingen-San Benito MSAs had more than 10,000 more people working than in February 2013.
For the Valley’s nine largest cities that the TWC tracks, all but one dropped its unemployment rate this February over last February (year over year) with San Benito leading the way with a 3 percent decline. And while Brownsville was the only major Valley city not able to drop its jobless percentage rate, 1,296 new jobs were created in the city, according to TWC.
“Medical, small business, tourism, education and other government sectors keep expanding in the RGV and adding jobs there can kick start spending throughout the rest of the economy,” said Rio Grande Valley Partnership CEO Julian Alvarez. “I know that business and elected leaders from the across the Valley are working together on lots of projects right now, and I hope we can continue to build on this momentum.”
Indeed, the TWC shows that in the RGV’s two MSAs, education and health services, government, hospitality and professional services were the biggest movers’ year over year combined adding thousands of new jobs.
In addition, many cities have bounced back to pre-recession jobless and employment numbers and many, like Edinburg, Mission and Pharr had all-time record high numbers of jobs, or people employed in their cities, in February (Edinburg 33,471, Mission 29,929, Pharr 25,871). Other cities are near high-water employment marks as well.