The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) released the November 2018 Labor Market and Employment reports. The seasonally adjusted national and Texas unemployment rates were both unchanged from last month, at 3.7 percent.

Statewide Overview for November: Texas had a net gain of 14,000 nonagricultural jobs in November, and has added 365,400 in the past year (seasonally adjusted). This represents a three percent annual employment growth rate.

Goods-Producing employment increased by 13,100 jobs in November, and a total of 120,300 jobs were added in the past twelve months. The Manufacturing sector led this month, with a gain of 9,100 jobs. The Goods-Producing sector has seen a 6.6 percent growth rate over the past twelve months.

The Service sectors in total gained 900 jobs in November and a total of 245,100 jobs in the past year. This sector is growing at a 2.3 percent annual rate. The Trade sector led in November, with an estimated 8,900 employees added.

Regional Unemployment Recap: The November data shows the unemployment rates increasing slightly across our region at the county and city levels. We continue to see significantly lower unemployment rates than reported one year ago.


  • Hidalgo County increased by 0.3 percent, to 5.8 percent.
  • Cameron County increased by 0.1 percent, to 5.3 percent.
  • Starr County increased by 0.2 percent, to 8.1 percent.
  • Willacy County decreased by 0.3 percent to 8.1 percent.
  • Webb County decreased by 0.1 percent to 3.5 percent.


  • McAllen had the lowest unemployment rate in the RGV with 4.1 percent, unchanged for the month.
  • Edinburg was second at 4.3 percent, an increase of 0.1 percent.
  • Harlingen was third at 5.0 percent, a decrease of 0.3 percent.
  • Mission was fourth at 5.2 percent, an increase of 0.2 percent.
  • Laredo again had the lowest rate in our border region, at 3.4 percent, unchanged from October.

Hidalgo, Cameron, and Webb County MSA Regional Employment Change Estimates for November 2018:

Employment Sectors McAllen MSA Brownsville MSA Laredo MSA Total Region
Healthcare & Private Education 100 200 300
Leisure & Hospitality -100 -200 100 -200
Government (Public Ed, Law Enforcement) 500 200 100 800
Professional & Business Services -200 100 200 100
Mining & Construction -100 -100
Trade, Transportation, Utilities 1,300 700 500 2,500
Manufacturing 100 -100 0
Information 100 100
Financial Activities -100 -100
Other Services -100 -100 -200
Total All Non-Agriculture Sectors: 1,600 800 800 3,200
Annual Job Growth Rate: 1.9% 1.9% 0.2%  

The primary contributor to the November employment gains in our region was the Trade sector, with an estimated 2,500 new jobs. This reflects the seasonal hiring that takes place in the Retail Trade sector as merchants gear up for the holiday shopping season. Preliminary reports at the national level indicate that retail sales were very strong this year during the November-December shopping season.

As always, thanks again for your support and participation!

Editor’s Note: Mike Willis, senior business relations representative for Workforce Solutions in McAllen, analyzes the regional unemployment and labor market numbers each month for Workforce Solutions.