Economic Outlook in El Paso

Economic Outlook in El Paso

People from El Paso can keep their faces toward the sun, and not just because they live in Texas: El Paso is currently listed as one of the top 20 largest economically thriving metropolitan areas in the United States.

In fact, an overwhelming fraction of the top 20 cities are in Texas overall; in addition to El Paso, they include Austin, San Antonio, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Some economists are even saying that the worst of the recession, at least as far as Texas is concerned, may be over.

Though recovering, employment in the Dallas area showed no job growth during the last quarter of 2009. After a loss of more than 340,000 jobs last year alone—during which Texas hit its highest level of unemployment in over two decades—additional positions in the city would be most welcome.

In fact, much of the city’s prosperity isn’t accounted for by available jobs but by the standard of living its residents can expect. The living cost in the area is considered low, as are area taxes. This may also account for the increasing number of immigrants in these cities. El Paso, for example, had a 27% increase in total number of immigrants last few years.

One county in El Paso, however, isn’t faring well by any means, with $11 million in debt hanging over the area.

Recovery may be arriving via unexpected sources, as well. Over 300 people in El Paso will be receiving jobs from India by next year. Patni Computer Systems, which is located in Mumbai, India, has already hired 110 people in the city. The company, which conducts business for a health insurance company, currently employs people in data entry, mail handling, and claims verification in the area.

When the company hires additional people in 2011, highly skilled workers in the areas of health care management, accounting, and other fields will be needed.

A recent job fair in the city offered an additional 400 jobs in the area. Hopefully many people will gain new employment from the call centers and other job providers that attended.

Many hope that the city’s new African exhibit at the El Paso Zoo will also help provide some additional money for the city in the form of tourism dollars. While meerkats and lions have already been added to the exhibit, more animals, such as giraffes and zebras, will follow later this summer.