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UTEP economist predicts U.S.-Mexico border communities could see jobless rate grow to 20%

Paso del Norte Bridge
CBP
Traffic from Ciudad Juárez stopped for U.S. customs and immigration inspections at the Paso del Norte Bridge in El Paso.

EL PASO, Texas -- The Center for Inter-American Border Studies at The University of Texas at El Paso hosted an online seminar Friday afternoon that took an in-depth look at the financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic along the U.S.-Mexico border.

At a time when many people are concerned about the newly weakened Borderland economy, UTEP economics Prof. Tom Fullerton told the seminar audience that we should expect the current recession to last one to two years.

"I think by June, the U.S. unemployment rate will rise all the way to sixteen percent," he explained. "And we'll see in border communities such as El Paso, it will probably reach eighteen percent, with the possible exception of McAllen. McAllen has potential to go beyond twenty percent by June."

Despite his gloomy unemployment prediction, Fullerton said that we can look back at history for some hope.

He noted that after the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918, the economy saw incredible growth during the era that came to be known as the "Roaring Twenties."

Biz/Tech / El Paso / News

KVIA ABC-7

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