Texas Border Business
Before Mayor’s speech, a video played that touted Laredo’s port, livability, and decreasing crime rates. Laredo’s median household income has increased 20% over the last five years, from $39,408 in 2014 to $47,478 in 2019, Mayor Pete Saenz announced Thursday at his annual State of the City address. Economically, last year was a banner year in the Gateway City, he said.
“That’s a substantial increase! It’s better than McAllen at $45,000 and almost on par with San Antonio at $49,000,” the mayor said. “However, we are still below Texas’ median household income of $60,000. “With the addition of 7,000 jobs in Laredo during the same five years, these are good indicators of a strong and healthy economy, Saenz said. Last year alone, 2,500 jobs were added to Laredo’s workforce, and unemployment is at 3.5%.
According to the American Community Survey, poverty in Laredo is decreasing, from 30.6% to 25.9% in 2018. “We’ve broken the 30s!” Saenz said while noting that 66,000 people still live in poverty here, which he called unacceptable. Laredo’s positive outlook rests squarely on improving trade and commerce through the newly-signed USMCA free-trade agreement, Saenz said. “Which means further improving our strong relationship with Mexico, our neighbor,” he said. The city anticipates the passage of the agreement, which could make its way through Canada’s Congress this summer, will increase jobs, facilitate infrastructure and create a specialization in Laredo.
On the other hand of federal issues, the city remains staunch in its opposition to the border wall, as it has for years, Saenz said. “The actions by the federal government undermines the long and cherished social and economic ties that bind U.S. and Mexico border communities, which are so intertwined in so many ways,” he said.