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May 2021 Labor Market Report – Workforce Solutions Lower Rio

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Texas Border Business

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The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) released the May Labor Market and Employment reports. The seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate decreased by -0.3% to 6.1%. Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased by -0.2% to 6.5%.

Statewide Overview for April: Texas had a gain of 34,400 non-agricultural jobs in May and a gain of 804,200 jobs in the past year (seasonally adjusted). This represents an annual employment increase rate of 6.8%.

Goods-Producing employment increased by 1,700 jobs in May and a total of 15,800 jobs were gained in the past twelve months. The Goods-Producing sector has seen an increase of 0.9% over the past twelve months.  The Manufacturing sector had the most job growth for this month with 3,200 jobs added.

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The Service-Providing sector increased by 32,700 jobs in May and has a total gain of 788,400 jobs in the past year. This sector is increasing at a 7.9% annual rate. The Leisure & Hospitality sector had the most job growth with an additional 14,200 jobs increasing at a 26.4% annual rate. The Professional & Business Services sector had the second most job gains in May with an estimated 13,800 employees hired and an annual increasing rate of 8.8%.

Regional Unemployment Recap: The May unemployment rates improved across the region with Hidalgo, Starr and Willacy counties reflecting significant decreases of -0.6%, -1.0%, -0.8% respectively. 


  • Hidalgo County decreased by -0.6% to 9.7%
  • Cameron County increased by -0.4% to 8.7%
  • Starr County decreased by -1.0%, to 16.7%
  • Willacy County decreased by -0.8% to 11.6%
  • Webb County decreased by -0.3% to 6.7%


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  • Edinburg has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) at a rate of 6.3%.
  • McAllen has the second lowest unemployment rate in the RGV at a rate of 6.8%
  • Laredo unemployment rate decreased by -0.3% to 6.6%
  • Harlingen unemployment rate increased by 0.1% to 8.2%.
  • Brownsville unemployment rate decreased by -0.7% and a rate of 8.9%.

Hidalgo, Cameron, and Webb County MSA Regional Employment Change Estimates for May 2021:

Employment SectorsMcAllen MSABrownsville MSALaredo MSATotal Region
Healthcare & Private Education-400                 -600        100-900
Leisure & Hospitality200400100700
Government (Public Ed, Law Enforcement)100-100  
Professional & Business Services-500-100 -600
Mining & Construction-100  -100
Trade, Transportation & Utilities 100100200
Manufacturing-200  -200
Financial Activities    
Other Services  100100
Total All Non-Agriculture Sectors:-900-300400-800

The May 2021 Employment Change Estimates reflects a slight job decrease for the border region. The primary sector with the largest job growth in the border region is the Leisure & Hospitality sector with an estimated 700 new jobs. The May total non-agricultural job loss for the border region is an estimated -800 jobs, which reflects seasonal adjustments and a decrease from last month estimates.

Healthcare Industry:

Healthcare facilities in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) have continued expansion efforts in Hidalgo and Cameron County areas. To support these expansion efforts, Workforce Solutions has assisted three different healthcare businesses with job fair services to fill 67 vacancies. 

Retail and Services:

The retail and service sectors have steadily seen a rebound as the Texas economy recovers. The entertainment industry specifically has also seen an uptick as many in-person events have started to take place. Workforce Solutions has assisted with the current need to recall and train retail and service employees through four job fairs for a total of 69 employers with 252 job seekers attending, as well as facilitating meetings with training providers to assist with the training needs.

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