MCALLEN, Texas – Workforce Solutions’ McAllen board office has given a shoutout to Zoho, the global software development company, its latest employment report.

The report gives an update on the information technology sector in the Rio Grande Valley.

“The RGV employs approximately 3,792 individuals and is expected to grow by 22% through 2030. Average earnings for jobs in this industry fall around $62,731 with most occupations falling within the installation, maintenance, and repair categories,” Workforce Solutions stated.

In the month of February, Workforce Solutions made 103 job referrals to assist job seekers in the IT field place employment.

As for Zoho, which is currently based in the McAllen Foreign Trade Zone, Workforce Solutions stated:

“Marking a notable feat for the Rio Grande Valley, Zoho, a multinational technology company, has opened an office in McAllen, Texas, creating exciting new employment opportunities and economic growth for our communities. Their decision was motivated by the RGV’s low cost of living, growth potential, and cooperation with educational systems. Zoho hopes to create a 90-acre campus in McAllen to serve as a hub for various technological industries. They also hope to encourage other tech companies they invest in to consider future development in the RGV.”

Workforce Solutions said it would like to remind employers and job seekers in the IT sector that it offers free electronic training services through Metrix Learning to residents of Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties. “Completion of such trainings may result in certification related to CompTIA, Cisco, Microsoft, and more,” the group stated.

Willis analysis

Mike Willis, executive director of the South Texas Manufacturers Association, has given his take on the February employment report produced by Workforce Solutions.

The report shows unemployment In Hidalgo County decreased by 0.3% to 6.8%. In Cameron County it increased by 0.2% to 6.3%. In Starr County it decreased by 0.3% to 11.5%. In Willacy County it increased by 0.1 to 8.9%. In Webb County it increased by 0.4% to 4.9%.

Mike Willis

“The February employment data shows the start of a ‘typical’ slow decline in the unemployment rate as we move through the spring. It typically jumps up again in the summer due to layoffs in the ‘Government’ sector, primarily support staff at school districts and colleges,” Willis said.

“The last few years have been anything but typical, of course. The general slowdown in the growth of the economy that is starting to take root may cause the unemployment rate to increase going forward, which is the ‘unspoken objective’ of the Fed rapidly tightening interest rates to bring down inflation. Until the labor market cools off a bit, and wage rate growth moderates, it will be hard to bring down overall inflation.”

Willis said the price of oil has spiked due to OPEC cutting production by over one million barrels/day to raise the ‘floor’ price of oil, and in anticipation of a general economic slowdown in the global economy, as many governments are struggling to bring down inflation. 

“Another complicating factor for the USA may be that we failed to start refilling the millions of barrels of oil that we had previously ‘borrowed’ from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve when the price of oil had come down a few months ago,” Willis said. 

“At whatever point we do refill what we borrowed, an increase in the price of oil will be the result. Higher oil prices of course increase the cost of doing business and increase the consumer cost of living as well.”

TWC analysis

In its report, Workforce Solutions cited the The Texas Workforce Commission’s February Labor Market and Employment reports. According to TWC, the seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate increased by (0.2) to 3.6%. Texas seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by (0.1) to 4.0%.

In its statewide overview, TWC said Texas gained 58,200 non-agricultural jobs in February and gained 611,400 jobs in the past year (seasonally adjusted). This represents an annual employment increase rate of 4.6%.

Goods-Producing employment decreased by -4,500 jobs in February and a total of 99,400 jobs were gained in the past twelve months. The Goods-Producing sector has seen an increase of 5.3% over the past twelve months. The Construction sector had the most job growth for this month with 2,600 jobs added.

The Service-Providing sector increased by 62,700 jobs in February and has a total gain of 512,000 jobs in the past year. This sector increased at a 4.5% annual rate. The Professional & Business Services sector had the most job growth with an additional 30,300 jobs increasing at a 5.8% annual rate. The Private Education & Health Services sector had the second most job gains in February with an estimated 12,500 employees hired and an annual increasing rate of 5.4%.

RGV perspective

As for the Rio Grande Valley, Workforce Solutions reported that McAllen has the lowest unemployment rate in the region at a rate of 5.1%. Edinburg is second lowest for unemployment with a rate of 5.3%. Laredo unemployment rate increased by 0.3% to 4.8%. Mission unemployment rate decreased by -0.2% to 6.5%. Harlingen unemployment rate increased by 0.2% to 5.9%. Brownsville unemployment rate increased by 0.2% to 6.5%.

As for the RGV economy, Workforce Solutions reported that during the month of February, the Valley’s (McAllen & Brownsville MSA’s) economy experienced a job gain as 1,900 individuals entered the workforce. Workforce Solutions directly contributed employment efforts by assisting 824 individuals enter employment. Workforce Solutions also partnered with businesses to address their hiring needs by hosting 11 hiring events with 209 participating employers and 1,233 job seekers in attendance, resulting in 571 job offers. Additionally, Workforce Solutions served a total of 1,515 employers representing 3,887 job openings, resulting in 445 direct hires and another 379 indirect hires.

Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above news story shows Zoho Corporation’s global headquarters in Chennai, India.

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