POSTED: Thursday, August 1, 2013 - 5:13pm
UPDATED: Friday, August 2, 2013 - 8:06am
BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — A five-year low of 326,000 unemployment claims might be some of the best economic news our country has received in a while, but these national numbers don't necessary reflect all areas of the country, especially the Rio Grande Valley.
“It’s not anything to be particularly concerned about. I mean, it is a concern actually, but the rise and fall is normal for this time of year in the Valley," said CEO of Workforce Solutions, Pat Hobbs.
Health, education, retail and government are the four major employment areas in the Valley. A significant drop in the health department has contributed to a high unemployment rate here.
“We’ve experienced an actual increase in unemployment over the past two months, which is normal for our region. Uh, we were at 9.9 a couple of months ago and it inched up to 10.4 and now we’re at 11.1, so we don’t follow the national trend necessarily," said Hobbs.
“Although the unemployment rate in the Valley is about 4.2% higher than the state average, that figure is the same as last year, so a higher unemployment rate in this area is not uncommon. That also means more people will be going to places like Workforce Solutions to look for jobs.”
“We’re just hoping that it stays steady and that Texas continues to do a good job of, creating new jobs and they are, it’s just not happening in the Valley yet. So, we’re looking for that big spark, you know, maybe Space-X or some other company," said Hobbs.
Reporting in Brownsville, Marty Watson, KVEO News Center 23.