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El Paso Economic Indicators

Economic Indicators

August 23, 2023

El Paso economy dashboard (July 2023)
Job growth (annualized)
April–July '23
Unemployment rate
Avg. hourly earnings
Avg. hourly earnings growth y/y
1.3% 5.4% $22.71 3.7%

In July, El Paso’s economic indicators showed mixed signals. Payroll growth increased, although it varied across sectors, and unemployment surged. However, the business-cycle index increased, and the subprime credit population stayed flat. The U.S. industrial production and Institute for Supply Management (ISM) indexes rose, and auto production and sales continued strong.

Business-cycle index

The El Paso Business-Cycle Index was stable in July, moving to 157.4 from 157.5 in June (Chart 1). The index was up 1.4 percent from July 2022.

Chart 1

Labor market

Payroll growth remains mixed across sectors

Payrolls grew an annualized 2.7 percent in July (727 jobs) (Chart 2). Gains were concentrated in government (545), education and health services (378), and manufacturing (227). Job losses occurred in professional and business services (451), information (73), leisure and hospitality (36), and trade, transportation and utilities (8).

Chart 2

Total nonfarm employment has grown 1.6 percent year to date (3,176 jobs). Professional and business services lost the most jobs so far this year (1,923), while education and health services (1,794) and government (1,660) added the most jobs on net.

Unemployment rate spikes

El Paso’s unemployment rate drastically increased from 4.5 percent in June to 5.4 in July—both unemployment and the labor force considerably grew (Chart 3). In comparison, unemployment stayed flat in Texas (4.1 percent) and fell slightly in the U.S. (3.5 percent).

Chart 3

Subprime credit population

El Paso County’s subprime credit population stayed flat at 33.0 percent in the second quarter (Chart 4). The subprime credit population share has hovered between 33.0 and 34.0 percent since second quarter 2021. Dallas County (30.8 percent) and Harris County (31.5 percent) similarly experienced little change in their subprime credit populations.

Chart 4

Industrial production and maquiladora-related activities

The U.S. industrial production (IP) index rose 1.0 percent in July compared with the prior month, but declined year over year in July for the second month in a row, down 0.2 percent (Chart 5). The index rose 1.0 percent in July compared with the prior month. The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) index increased 0.4 percentage points in July from the previous month to 46.4 but was down 6.3 points from last year. ISM indexes below 50 signal contraction in the manufacturing sector. Meanwhile, Mexico’s IP index grew 0.6 percent in June from the previous month and was up 3.6 percent from last year.

Chart 5

U.S. monthly auto production increased by an annualized 925,800 units in July, and sales increased by an annualized 78,000 units. Production rose 14.4 percent and sales rose 18.2 percent from last July. Industrial and auto activity are closely linked to the El Paso-area economy because of cross-border manufacturing relationships. Roughly half of the maquiladoras in Juárez are auto related.


NOTE: Data may not match previously published numbers due to revisions. The El Paso metropolitan statistical area includes El Paso and Hudspeth counties.

About El Paso Economic Indicators

Questions or suggestions can be addressed to Aparna Jayashankar at El Paso Economic Indicators is published every month after state and metro employment data are released.