“It’s a workers market” El Paso sees lowest unemployment rate since March 2020

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – El Paso’s unemployment rate is at 5.4 percent a big difference from the high 14 percent unemployment rate El Paso saw in March of 2020, according to Workforce Solutions Borderplex.

“They hired me pretty fast, the interview went really well, and in general I could tell that they were kind of desperate,” said El Pasoan Jesus Vargas who was recently hired in the food industry.

However, while unemployment is going down, we’re still hearing about employee shortages.

“Anecdotally we know that individuals as the unemployment rate drop, there’s still openings but they’re working somewhere right? And you know what they’re taking advantage of is flexibility and remote work,” Bianca Cervantes the Communications Director of Workforce Solutions Borderplex.

El Pasoan Austin Holt recently moved from Oregon to El Paso to be with his now-wife. Before the move, he lost his job as an engineer in Oregon due to the pandemic and ended up taking a remote job in El Paso.

“I think it’s ramping up, there’s more jobs but I do think there was a lack of at least in engineering and those kinds of jobs I don’t think there’s as many I think for maybe fast-food jobs or whatever there’s more and they’re looking for people but not for what I was looking for. It was a good year that I couldn’t find something…”

El Pasoan Austin Holt

Workforce Solutions Borderplex says workers are demanding higher pay and better benefits.

“Currently it’s a workers market not so much an employers market,” said Cervantes.

El Pasoan Eric Murillo says he was unemployed during the pandemic and did recently find a job but says he thinks businesses will have to start paying more.

“The wages aren’t keeping up, even $15 an hour minimum wage isn’t enough for a lot of workers with the inflation, with costs going up it’s definitely not enough,” said Murillo.

Workforce Solutions Borderplex does say Borderland employers are looking at paying employees more and offering better packages to workers. Saying they are working with Borderland businesses to find solutions for those who can’t afford to pay employees more.

“You can also accommodate candidates and job seekers with flexible benefits with new benefits packages which are things like flexibility, hybrid work, go into work two days a week, stay at home,” said Cervantes.

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