Mayor touts near 'full employment'

Monday, May 14, 2018

Declaring Palestine enjoys nearly full employment, Mayor Steve Presley proclaimed May 7-10 “Economic Development Week.”

“Locally, they [the Palestine Economic Development Corporation]are very active,” Presley told the Herald-Press on Tuesday. “They've created nearly full employment for the community, with more jobs available than there are people.”

Nevertheless, the local economic development corporation, Presley said, has work to do in training residents for higher-paying jobs that improve the overall quality-of-life in Palestine.

More employment likely would mean more residents and more tax revenue, he said, making a lower tax rate possible.

Palestine's jobless rate is roughly 4.6 percent, slightly higher than Texas' 4 percent and the nation's 3.9 percent, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Anderson County's jobless rate, however, is slightly more than 3 percent. Metropolitan area jobless rates are typically lower than in the region's core city.

Many economists consider a 3-percent jobless rate practically full employment, because some workers are always moving from one job to another.

Economic Development Week is a national celebration of EDC's. It was created and coordinated by the International Economic Development Council, the largest professional membership organization for economic developers.

The week-long recognition aims to honor economic development professionals and leaders for their critical role in economic growth and in meeting housing and other needs.

“EDC's have meant the difference between the United States having jobs and manufacturing at home, instead of overseas,” Presley said.

This year's recognition comes during the International Economic Development Council's 92nd anniversary.

The IEDC and local economic development groups state that they aim to create wealth; build healthy, just, and competitive communities; and promote cooperation, diversity, tolerance, and equality in their communities.

PEDC Director Gayle Cooper said the organization's local focus is downtown redevelopment, infrastructure improvements, and housing.

“These are our pressing needs,” she said.

For more information, call the Palestine Economic Development Corporation at 903-729-4100.

 William Patrick


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