Surprise! We’re Poor!

According to this story in the El Paso Inc., jobs in El Paso pay only 72 percent of the national average.

It’s no secret that El Paso’s hourly wages and salaries are low. But a 2018 salary guide by Robert Half, a national firm that specializes in placing finance professionals, puts El Paso last among 140 cities in the U.S.

Half’s guide shows salaries in El Paso as being 28 percent below national averages and the only below-average city among the seven largest cities in Texas. The closest is San Antonio at 1 percent above average.

Apparently Half’s guide only covers the financial sector, because the Workforce Solutions Borderplex’ CEO (and former El Paso City Manager) Joyce Wilson says the average weekly wage in El Paso was less than two thirds the Texas average.

Her agency’s latest figures on wages support Half’s salary data and show the average weekly wage in the first quarter of this year was $732 in the El Paso area, compared with $1,124 in Texas and $1,111 nationally.

But don’t worry! The Mayor is on the job.

“All I can say is yes we’re aware of it,” [Mayor Dee Margo] said. “We’re doing everything we can to overcome it. Now, our housing costs are less than a lot of communities, and we have our quality of life.

“Across the board, we want to raise our standard of living, which includes the ability to buy goods and services, which improves our sales tax revenues and benefits us all around.”

One part of the problem of low wages and salaries is tied to El Paso’s relatively low education attainment, Margo said, and the other is the inability to retain college graduates who can find higher paying jobs elsewhere.

“I would say the piece of the puzzle that is most concerning is the availability of jobs, not so much the compensation,” he said.

I guess he’s trying to shoehorn the Quality of Life bond projects into a cure for poverty. You know, because the shiny baubles will attract new businesses.

Like payday lenders, and plasma centers, and pawn shops.


  1. El Paso used to be rich in culture, history and had very hard working people. Now I would be curious to see what the numbers are of El Pasoans who are on welfare, unemployed, or employed by local/state/federal government. The largest employer seems to be Ft Bliss followed by the school districts. Education has taken a dive over the last 25 years in El Paso, so naturally the education industry has dumbed down education. While the industry in place before (textile, garment, copper smelting, refinery, cotton) didn’t require a college education or really anything beyond a simple grasp of reading, writing and basic math, no major manufacturer or industry has been attracted to El Paso because of the low education attainment, and lack of English comprehension. El Paso- It is what it is.

  2. Did I mention that Budweiser is on sale? It’s actually cheaper than water now. There’s always a silver lining.

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