Border corridor sees spike in jobs, international trade and sales tax collection

Trade

El Paso, Las Cruces and Juarez add a combined 35,000 year-over-year jobs in October, Hunt Institute says

TO GO WITH AFP STORY
Workers of a cross-border plant work in a production line in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico on June 13, 2011. While local businesses have been devastated by high murder rates and criminal gangs in Mexico’s most deadly city of Ciudad Juarez, multinational industry is booming. Many small shops lie empty on the desolate streets of the border city across from El Paso, Texas, while foreign manufacturers are setting up more plants known as “maquiladoras”, which import and assemble duty-free components for export. Some companies have increased their security costs in northern border cities such as Ciudad Juarez but officials say maquiladoras are not threatened because they lack what gangs want most, cash. AFP PHOTO/JESUS ALCAZAR (Photo credit should read Jesus Alcazar/AFP via Getty Images)

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – The jobs are coming back to the Paso del Norte region.

El Paso, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and particularly Juarez, Mexico, saw an uptick in employment in October. El Paso added 8,900 jobs in October, led by growth in services, trade and transportation, the University of Texas at El Paso’s Hunt Institute for Global Competitiveness reported on Tuesday.

The same three sectors fueled job growth in Las Cruces, which added 2,300 jobs. Juarez gained 23,900 jobs led by its signature manufacturing sector.

Juarez is home to more than 300 U.S.-run manufacturing plants and the Mexican government has designated many as essential businesses, which has spared them from COVID-19 shutdowns. Juarez has seen year-over-year employment gains for the past 15 months, according to the Hunt Institute’s December 2021 report.

But whereas El Paso’s manufacturing sector remains stagnant, it leads all major Texas cities when it comes to growth in sales tax collections, the report states.

El Paso collected $93.5 million in sales taxes during the first 10 months of the year, a 20.3 percent increase compared to pre-pandemic 2019 levels. It also collected $16 million more over the same period in 2020.

El Paso also was among the top four in the Southwest border in terms of international trade. El Paso’s ports of entry recorded an increase of 11.2 percent in trade during the first 10 months of 2021 compared to 2019, the Hunt Institute reported.

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