Job growth in Ciudad Juarez drove regional economy in 2014
West Texas and Southern New Mexico economies given boost by 2014 job growth in Ciudad Juarez.
Year end calculations provided by Mexico’s National Institute for Social Security (IMMS) indicate that more than forty-two thousand new positions were created for workers in the state of Chihuahua over the course of the calendar year 2014. According to statistics, job growth in Ciudad Juarez, along the US-Mexico border accounted for seventy-five percent, or 31,683 of that figure. The remaining positions created over the course of the last calendar year landed mainly in the State’s capital, Chihuahua City, while a relatively small percentage was distributed throughout smaller municipalities.
Job growth in Ciudad Juarez occurred mainly as a result of positions created in maquiladora, or IMMEX, industry among existing manufacturers, as well as those that are new are relative newcomers to the border city. Over the last four years, there has been a positive trend in business growth due to a reduction in Juarez security concerns among foreign investors. Mexico’s largest industrial border city has experienced a robust sixty-two percent increase in the number of businesses operating within its boundaries over the last four years. In 2010 Ciudad Juarez was home to about sixteen thousand five hundred businesses, while, by the end of 2014, this number had risen to over twenty-six thousand five hundred commercial enterprises. Job growth in Ciudad Juarez maquiladoras topped its 2008 record during the month of August when it registered an employment figure of 254,051 workers. This represented a 1.7% increase over the mark reached a bit more than six years ago. As regards job growth in Ciudad Juarez in specific sectors of the city’s manufacturing economy, the most positions have been created through foreign direct investment made in the electronics and automotive industries. During the first half of 2014 the number of manufacturing jobs created in Ciudad Juarez in these two industries were almost eight and four thousand respectively. The telecommunications industry was also another source of significant job growth in Ciudad Juarez during the last calendar year.
A positive effect of job growth in Ciudad Juarez in 2014 has been felt across the border, mainly in El Paso, Texas, but, also, in the New Mexico border community of Santa Teresa. According to the current president of the Ciudad Juarez maquiladora association, Claudia Troitiño, “El Paso’s economy is tied closely to its neighbor’s, and the maquiladora industry is one of the region’s biggest economic engines and one of the largest sources of employment.” Troitiño cites Federal Reserve information that indicates that “one of every four jobs in El Paso is dependent on Mexico’s maquiladora industry,” as evidence that job growth in Ciudad Juarez is critical to the health of the economy of its sister city, El Paso.
The industrial surge that has occurred in 2014, and the prior three years, also augurs well for economic circumstances prevalent in the Southern New Mexico border community of Santa Teresa. Manufacturing and job growth in Ciudad Juarez served as the impetus for a large investment made in the community during 2014 by the Union Pacific Railroad in installing a multi-modal truck and rail hub. It is estimated that new business started in Santa Teresa that have links to Ciudad Juarez industry have to potential to create a total of eleven hundred new positions.