Edinburg posted a 7.4 percent unemployment rate in June 2009, the worst showing for the three-time All-America City in four and a half years, with 2,348 residents who were willing and able to work that month having no luck in finding a job, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.

The unemployment rate is a key indicator of the strength of the local economy. The latest figure come less than two years after Edinburg had 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.

The June 2009 figures also represent a falling-off from the previous month, when the unemployment rate was 6 percent, and there were 1,872 residents unsuccessfully looking for jobs in May 2009.

The June 2009 statistics are also worse than the same time a year earlier.

In June 2008, the city’s unemployment rate stood at 5.5 percent, with 1,690 residents jobless but looking for work.

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.

On the plus side, Edinburg’s unemployment rate was still the best in Valley, with even economic powerhouse McAllen struggling, also posting a 7.4 percent level of unemployment for June 2009.

Hidalgo County fared even worse, with all urban and rural areas totaling an 11.1 percent unemployment rate.

Cameron County didn’t do much better than Hidalgo County, with all urban and rural areas in Cameron County totaling a 10.4 percent unemployment rate.

Brownsville, the largest city in the Rio Grande Valley, in June 2009 posted a 10.6 percent unemployment rate.

A breakdown of the major cities in the Rio Grande Valley shows that they posted the following unemployment rates in June 2009: Edinburg —7.4, McAllen — 7.4, Harlingen — 8.4, Pharr — 9.5, San Benito — 9.6, Mission — 9.6, Weslaco — 10.3, Brownsville — 10.6 and San Juan — 11.4.

Highlights of key figures for Edinburg include:

Unemployment

rate, by month

• June 2009: 7.4 percent

• June 2008: 5.5

• June 2007: 5.6

• June 2006: 6.2

• June 2005: 5.6

Unemployment

rate, by year

• 2008: 5.0 percent

• 2007: 4.8

• 2006: 5.3

• 2005: 4.9

People looking for

work, by month

• June 2009: 2,348

• June 2008: 1,690

• June 2007: 1,651

• June 2006: 1,775

• June 2005: 1,506

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

• June 2009: 29,305

• June 2008: 28,933

• June 2007: 28,010

• June 2006: 26,775

• June 2005: 25,619

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 7.5 percent in June, but remained well below the national rate of 9.5 percent.

The Texas unemployment rate was 7.1 percent in May.

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