I’ve been sussing out the employment situation here in El Paso over the last some years, and here’s what I’ve come up with.
From 2010 to 2016, employment as a percentage of population has been pretty constant.
We’ve been running a pretty steady 38% to 38.5% since 2010. Except for last year. Last year, employment as a percentage of population jumped to 39.63%
Look at these charts from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
The Labor Force, i.e., the number of people participating in the labor market, i.e., working, or looking for work, takes a pretty decided jump there about July, 2015, after an anomalous bump in about April. What happened?
I’m gonna say Go 10.
GO 10 is an infrastructure reconstruction of Interstate 10 on El Paso’s Westside, between the Executive Center Boulevard and North Mesa Street exits. At $158 million, GO 10 is the largest traditionally delivered (design-bid-build) project that TxDOT’s El Paso District has done to date. Construction started in April 2015, and is expected to be complete in 2019.
In April, 2015, TxDOT started injecting $158 million into the local economy in regular measured doses, one pay period at a time.
As I’ve said before,
What do you think has more effect on the El Paso economy. A downtown arena, or the value of the peso? An indoor driving range, or the price of labor in China? A convention center hotel, or the military budget?
City Council thinks that they’re gods, but they’re not. City Council trying to control the El Paso economy is like eight fleas trying to drive an elephant.
City government needs to stop patting themselves on the back and start looking ahead to 2019 and 2020, when Go 10 and the new William Beaumont Hospital are completed. Of course, maybe by that time, the federal government will be building a wall to replace the fence.
Note: Population estimates are from the U.S. Census Bureau for July 1, of each year. Work force numbers are not seasonally adjusted and are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for July of each year.