Unemployment rate higher than national average

Monica Cortez(KTSM)

POSTED: Monday, September 2, 2013 - 6:44pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - 8:22am

Today is a day to celebrate our workforce, but a recent report released by the bureau of labor statistics paints a grim picture.

The report shows a high unemployment rate and low wages compared to other parts of the state and nation, facts that aren't really new, and some residents say aren't that bad.

"Everyone can open up a business,” said Luis Boya, resident in East El Paso. “El Paso is a place of opportunity."

Luis Boya says El Paso is the perfect place to live as it continues to grow and prosper, but according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas the unemployment rate is higher than the national average.

From a census released in July 2013, 8.8 percent is the unemployment rate in the Sun City. That’s about 2 percent higher than the state average and about 1.5 percent higher than the national rate.

This all breaks down to almost 30,000 people in El Paso are without a job, according to the Texas Work Force website...

But some El Pasoans said it’s not hard to find a job.

"If you are looking for a saturated job, you won't find very much,” said Far East El Pasoan Denise Arellano. “But you can quickly find a job."

On top of the unemployment rate, the Bureau of Labor Statistics also reported the Sun City as being underpaid when it came down to the average hourly wage.

According to the website, El Pasoans are paid about $17 an hour compared to the $22 nationwide.

But residents defended the borderland by saying it adjusts to our cost of living.

"We do have a low pay rate in El Paso,” said Northeast El Pasoan Aaron Ray Jackson. “But luckily for us the cost of living isn't so bad, so it kind of averages out."

According to the Dallas Federal Reserve, from December of last year to July of this year... El Paso lost about 800 jobs, but the labor force is slowly getting better as more jobs in construction start opening up.

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