Harlingen unemployment rate at its lowest in 10 years

The balance between retirees and recent high school and college graduates is helping to keep Harlingen’s unemployment rate steady.

Cameron County's unemployment rate for November 2018 was the lowest in the Valley at 5.3 percent.

The city of Harlingen alone saw its lowest unemployment rate since 2008.

"Harlingen continues to grow, continues to bring new businesses into the city," says Raudel Garza, CEO of the Harlingen Economic Development Corporation.

According to Garza, the November numbers reflect a lot of hiring because of the holidays. "We had a good holiday season - a lot of shoppers out there - and so a lot of the retailers were hiring."

As the Rio Grande Valley continues to grow, so do businesses in Harlingen.

"Harlingen has been fairly steady in its labor force- most of the labor force, it's hovered over 24, 25,000 people out there looking for work actively," Garza says.

Garza says improved trade with Mexico and growth at the Valley International Airport are just some of the reasons why people are getting hired.

The balance between retirees and new high school and college graduates keeps the city's unemployment rate steady too.

Residents should expect to see that pattern continue for a while.

"I think it's going to continue that way at least for the next year or so - we expect some new businesses to open up in the next coming months, we expect some more announcements to be had later in the year," Garza says.

Hidalgo County held the second lowest unemployment rate.

Starr and Willacy County were both tied for the highest.

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