A new report stated Hidalgo County and Cameron County’s unemployment rate for August 2016 averaged higher than eight percent, surpassing the national rate of five percent reported by the United States Department of Labor, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
After analyzing the job demographic in the border region, economics professor at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Salvador Contreras said there is a need for more manufacturing jobs.
“Manufacturing jobs that are higher in the value added chain would be good for this region,” said Contreras. Although new corporate jobs are important, he believes education also plays a vital role in the unemployment rate.
An individual with a bachelor’s degree will, on average, earn twice as much as a person who only has a high school diploma, according to Contreras’ research.
The cities of McAllen and Edinburg have the lowest unemployment rate at about five percent, while Brownsville has the highest rate at about eight percent, according to the Texas Workforce Commission.
Contreras said the next president of the United States may affect unemployment levels in the Valley if their trade model cuts down on cross-border trade.
“Plenty of jobs are attached to trade flows in our region, so clearly it is something that is important to us,” Contreras said.