|McAllen-Edinburg-Mission Metropolitan Area is Number One in the Nation in Positive Job Growth!
The prestigious Brookings Institution released in its 2009 third quarter MetroMonitor, a “quarterly, interactive barometer of the health of America’s 100 largest metropolitan economies.” In this report it cites the changes in employment of the 100 largest United States Standard Metropolitan Areas.
From the 2nd to the 3rd quarter of the year 2009, only 11 of the 100 metro areas experienced positive increase in jobs. The other 89 metro areas lost jobs during this time period. The McAllen—Edinburg—Mission metro area is the number one in the United States in job creation with an increase of 1.3% in one quarter! The 1.3%, if annualized, would be 5.2%! Below is a list of the top five metro areas with their percentage increases in jobs:
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX with a 1.3% growth
New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA = 0.6%
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA = 0.5%
Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE, IA = 0.5%
Columbia, SC = 0.3%
The MetroMonitor also compared the largest 100 metro areas’ peak employment quarter to the most recent 3rd 2009 Quarter. Only one metro area in the United States, The McAllen—Edinburg—Mission metro area increased job placements with an increase of 1.4%! Since their peak employment, the 100 largest metro areas have decreased an average of -4.3%, compared to a -4.6% decrease in employment for the entire United States.
The McAllen—Edinburg—Mission metro area is the only metro area in Texas that achieved an employment growth rate from October 2008 to October 2009!!! (See Table 1)
There seems to be much healing to go—and the McAllen—Edinburg—Mission metro area is leading the way in the entire United States—and in Texas.
While most of the major metro areas in the United States are suffering loss of jobs, our metro area is number 1 in job growth. One can rightfully ask, what are the reasons for this unique growth in employment? Someone else might give a different answer, but this writer’s impression is that some of the reasons include that The Rio Grande Valley has wonderful people who have created a high quality standard of life which has attracted a higher than average increase in population growth.
We are blessed with great weather, a good school system from the K-12 grades levels to the post secondary education level, a family-oriented community, and a reasonably low cost of living. Although most local residents think the real estate prices have “sky rocked” we are considered a “bargain” compared to other metro areas.
The public schools, The University of Texas—Pan American, and South Texas College are among the fastest growing institutions in the country, and continue to increase programs and in number and quality.
Our excellent weather and shopping facilities encourage Mexican and Winter Texan tourists to continue coming. Our job growth is also fueled by the only three industries which experienced growth in Texas—Education and Health Services, Government, and Other Services.
Being adjacent to Mexico is an asset for our retail growth which also spurs jobs. The Maquiladora industry has promoted a huge increase in jobs in our sister cities near us in Mexico, and has also helped create jobs for us in the United States. Our agriculture market is strong, and we are attracting more manufacturing industries. We are also experiencing a huge increase in capitol influx from Mexican investors.
The fact that our metro area increased in jobs, does not mean that unemployment has decreased. Our metro area has been the first, second, or third fastest growing area in the United States for the past two decades, and we also have been the leaders in decreasing the unemployment rate. In the 1980’s and early 1990’s the unemployment rate was in the high “teens” and it was gradually lowered to less than 10%. At this time our metro unemployment rate is 11.2%, still among the highest unemployment rates in Texas. (See Table 1) So if the population growth rate is faster than the job creation rate, the unemployment will increase.
Nonetheless, we should definitely celebrate being number one in the United States and in Texas in job creation, and to hopefully be at the forefront of economic recovery!