Edinburg posted a 7.8 percent unemployment rate in July 2009, a higher level than in June, which was then the worst showing for the three-time All-America City in more than four and a half years, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

The July 2009 unemployment rate represents a third straight monthly increase.

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

A reported 2,455 Edinburg residents who were willing and able to work in July 2009 had no luck finding a job, according to the state agency.

In June 2009, the unemployment rate in Edinburg was 7.4 percent.

In May 2009, the unemployment rate in Edinburg was six percent.

The July 2009 statistic is also worse than the same month the previous year.

In July 2008, the city’s unemployment rate stood at 5.5 percent, when there were 1,647 residents jobless but looking for work.

The higher figures come less than two years after Edinburg has its best showing in the city’s history.

In November 2007, only 3.7 percent of Edinburg’s civilian labor force was unable to find work, according to the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg City Council.

According to TWC:

• The unemployment rate is the number of persons unemployed, expressed as a percentage of the civilian labor force;

• The civilian labor force is that portion of the population age 16 and older employed or unemployed; and

• To be considered unemployed, a person has to be not working but willing and able to work and actively seeking work.

All major cities in the Valley suffered increases in their unemployment rates for July 2009, with McAllen reporting the lowest figure — 7.5 percent — while four cities suffering with unemployment rates in double-digits.

The unemployment rate for all urban and rural areas in Hidalgo County reached 11.6 percent in July 2009, up from 11.1 percent in June 2009.

Cameron County had a better countywide average than Hidalgo County, but it was still in the double-digit realm, with all urban and rural areas in Cameron County averaging a 10.7 percent unemployment rate for July 2009.

Brownsville, the largest city in the Rio Grande Valley, in July 2009 posted a 10.9 percent unemployment rate.

A breakdown of the major cities in the Rio Grande Valley shows that they posted the following unemployment rates in July 2009:

• McAllen — 7.5

• Edinburg —7.8

• Harlingen — 9

• Pharr — 9.6

• Mission — 9.7

• San Benito — 10.2

• Weslaco — 10.6

• Brownsville — 10.9

• San Juan — 12

Highlights of key figures for Edinburg include:

Unemployment

rate, by month

• July 2009: 7.8 percent

• July 2008: 5.5

• July 2007: 5.7

• July 2006: 6.4

• July 2005: 5.5

Unemployment

rate, by year

• 2008: 5.0 percent

• 2007: 4.8

• 2006: 5.3

• 2005: 4.9

People looking for

work, by month

• July 2009: 2,455

• July 2008: 1,647

• July 2007: 1,676

• July 2006: 1,779

• July 2005: 1,444

Average of number

of people looking

for work, by year

• 2008: 1,520

• 2007: 1,417

• 2006: 1,502

• 2005: 1,324

Employed,

by month

• July 2009: 29,123

• July 2008: 28,536

• July 2007: 27,783

• July 2006: 25,922

• July 2005: 24,958

Average of number

employed, by year

• 2008: 28,971

• 2007: 28,207

• 2006: 26,865

• 2005: 25,538

The Texas Workforce Commission maintains a detailed accounting of employment trends for Edinburg and all other cities in the state on its website, located at:

www.tracer2.com/cgi/dataanalysis/AreaSelection.asp?tableName=Labforce

The figures for Edinburg and all other cities only go back to 2005, according to the Texas Workforce Commission, because of substantial methodology changes between 2004 and 2005 in estimating city unemployment statistics, Texas city data is not available prior to 2005.

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 notes.

Also, according to the Texas Workforce Commission:

Texas’ seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent in July, compared with the national unemployment rate of 9.4 percent.

The Texas unemployment rate was 7.5 percent in June.

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