El Paso County has one of the country's lowest-paying wages

El Paso County has one of the country's lowest-paying wages
Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 10:21pm

The numbers are in and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics has both good and bad news for Texas.

According to a report released by the department today on county employment and wages in the Lone Star state, employment rose in most of the state's largest counties last year. But the majority of those same counties experienced a decline in wages.

Counties along the Texas-Mexico border, like El Paso, were some of the lowest-paying counties in the United States.

"I had been working for the same company for 5 years and now, I had to pick up a second job in order to maintain a high allowance for myself because I just have hardly enough to pay my bills," said Luis Villanueva.

"Here, everything is really expensive and there's not many jobs and if there is, they're low wages. The ones that are $7.25 an hour," said Angelite Aleman.

The average weekly paycheck in the United States is $906, but in El Paso county, workers only take home an average of $654 a week.

Most locals we spoke with didn't find the numbers shocking. But when we asked them if they'd leave the Borderland for a job that paid more, not everybody was on the same page.

"I personally love El Paso and I don't have any plans because I believe that you can find a great job," said Alan Perez.

Nicolas Mercado said, "If the jobs are out there, the better wages are out there, then yeah, that's where I'd go."

"For someone who is looking for, you know, more pay, I think they'd want to go somewhere else," said Jack Martinez.

What did other lower-paying counties in Texas have in common with El Paso? Most sat in agricultural areas, or on the Texas-Mexico border. 

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