El Paso's economy outperformed the nation as a whole and many large metro areas in the second quarter, show data released this week by the Brookings Institution.
El Paso's economic output grew 1 percent in the April-June quarter, compared with the national rate of 0.6 percent and the average 0.4 percent growth rate for the nation's 100 largest metro areas, Brookings' latest MetroMonitor report shows.
El Paso's economy grew slightly faster in the second quarter compared with the first quarter's 0.7 percent rate of growth even though job growth slowed. That bucked the trend of other metro areas.
Most metro areas saw a second-quarter deceleration in the rate of economic recovery, said Alec Friedhoff, a research analyst at Brookings and a lead developer of the MetroMonitor. It tracks metro economies quarterly to gauge recovery since the recession ended.
El Paso continues to have "steady growth across the board," something common among many Texas metro areas where housing markets did not suffer the steep declines during the recession as seen in many other areas of the country, Friedhoff said.
El Paso continues to add jobs, but El Paso's high unemployment rate continues to be a kink in the area's economic performance, Friedhoff said.
"The only point of concern in El Paso is the unemployment rate, which was 9.5 percent in the second quarter," and hasn't come down much since the second quarter of last year, he said.
The national unemployment rate in the second quarter was 8.2 percent, Brookings reported.
El Paso's rate of job growth slowed from 1.1 percent in the first quarter to 0.3 percent in the second quarter, Brookings reported.
That slower job growth was still better than the national and metro job growth rate of 0.2 percent in the second quarter.
El Paso's employment growth since the recession ended ranks 13th among the nation's 100 largest metro areas.
El Paso's overall economic recovery since the recession ranks 19th among the large metro areas, up from its 25th ranking in the first quarter.
More information: brookings.edu/research/interactives/metromonitor#M21340
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