Economic Development

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Industry & Jobs

In 2021, the Borderplex region was the manufacturing hub with the fifth highest employment in North America, accounting for 17% of all trade with Mexico. The Borderplex boasts a world-class manufacturing sector, with $94.2 billion worth of trade with Mexico in 2020, 495+ manufacturing operations, and 75+ related facilities in El Paso and neighboring Las Cruces.  Once a major copper refining area, chief manufacturing industries in El Paso now include food production, clothing, construction materials, electronic and medical equipment, and plastics.

El Paso County’s largest industry sectors include Government, Health Care, and Social Assistance, and Retail Trade. Compared to the national average, the County has high concentrations of employment (location quotient above 1) in seven industries, ranging from government, transportation, food services, and utilities, among others. When it comes to occupations, Fort Bliss is a major workforce driver, with 1 out of 16 jobs in El Paso tied to the military. Fort Bliss is partnering with local universities for research, training, and certifications in cybersecurity, data analytics, and drone operations. Overall, El Paso has experienced steady job growth since 2018, despite seasonal fluctuations.

Source: BEA data, QCEW (from BLS) data and Lightcast analytics. QCEW data is an annualized average of four quarters.
GRP measures the final market value of all goods and services produced in the region of study. GRP is calculated as sum of total industry earnings, taxes on production and imports, and profits, minus subsidies.

Source: BEA and Lightcast analytics.

El Paso’s Next Frontier: Advanced Manufacturing

El Paso has gained tremendous momentum expanding advanced manufacturing. In 2022, a coalition led by the City and the University of Texas at El Paso was awarded $40 million to develop a regional advanced manufacturing cluster supporting the aerospace and defense industries. These efforts leverage UTEP’s incubation programs, various military bases such as Ft. Bliss, White Sands Missile Range, Holloman Air Force Base, and our regional position as a multi-modal port. Learn more about El Paso’s next frontier in advanced manufacturing.

Major Manufacturing Hubs By Employment​

  Combined Statistical Area (CSA) 2021 Employment
1. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim 458,792
2. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin​ 399,325​
3. San Diego-Carlsbad-Tijuana 375,447
4. New York-Newark-Jersey City 333,583
5. El Paso-Las Cruces-Juarez​ 319,628
6. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington 285,183
7. Detroit-Warren-Dearborn-Windsor​ 274,250​
8. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue-Vancouver 253,767
9. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land 212,958
10. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington 195,417

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics; Statistics Canada; INEGI Note: 2021 average

Industry Trends

Economic Indicators

Fort Bliss, TexasThe City of El Paso is home to many industries that contribute to our economic growth. Employment is an important indicator of our economic growth in El Paso. Some of our top employers include the following: 

  Top 10 Employers Employment Count
1. Fort Bliss 47,628
2. El Paso Independent School District 7,875
3. Socorro Independent School District 7,144
4. City of El Paso 6,840
5. T&T Staff Management 6,387
6. Ysleta Independent School District 6,022
7. The Hospitals of Providence 5,300
8. The University of Texas at El Paso 3,400
9. El Paso Community College (5 campuses) 3,102
10.  WBAMC Internal Medicine Clinic 3,000


Source: QCEW earnings data (from BLS) and Lightcast analytics. GRP is a combination of BEA and CQEW data.
North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is used to classify business establishments according to the type of economic activity. The first two digits define the top level category, known as the “sector,” which is the level examined in this report.
High location quotients indicate sectors in which a region has high concentrations of employment compared to the national average.


Source: QCEW earnings data (from BLS) and Lightcast analytics.

Source: QCEW earnings data QCEW (from BLS) and Lightcast analytics.

Source: BLS and Lightcast analytics.

Standard Occupational Classification system (SOC) -are used to classify workers into occupational categories. To facilitate classification, occupations are combined to form 22 major groups, 95 minor groups, and 452 occupation groups. Each occupation group includes detailed occupations requiring similar job duties, skills, education, or experience.

Industry wages and occupation wages are estimated via separate data sets, often the time periods being reported do not align, and wages are defined slightly differently in the two systems (for example, certain bonuses are included in the industry wages but not the occupation wages).

Source: QCEW (from BLS) data and Lightcast analytics.

Source: QCEW data (from BLS) and Lightcast analytics.

Source: Lightcast Job Posting analytics.

Job postings represent the immediate job demand in a region. To acquire the data, Lightcast scrapes over 50,000 sites with online job advertisements on a daily basis, and eliminates duplicates.

Source: Lightcast Job Posting analytics; updated on a real-time basis.

Source: Lightcast Job Posting analytics.

Source: Lightcast Job Posting analytics.