Christine Lee, Irving Reporter
Twelve-thousand jobs were created or retained in Irving during the past two years.
Irving's unemployment numbers continue to drop.
The city's unemployment rate dropped to 6.3 percent in August. The national unemployment rate currently sits at just less than 8 percent.
"The numbers speak for themselves. When we go from 5,000 retained or created new jobs to 7,000 this year -- I mean, that's 12,000 jobs that we've retained or created in the last two years, which is significant," City Manager Tommy Gonzalez said.
Last month, the biggest job fair the city has seen drew in more than 120 recruiters. Companies such as Christus Health are examples of the target industries that are making a big presence in Irving.
"We've had about six, seven company wins in the health care arena this year and also in the financial services about six or seven as well," said John Bennot, of the Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce.
The city and the Chamber of Commerce have been working together for years to recruit new businesses and to retain the ones that are already there. As a result, about 30 companies relocated to Irving or expanded during the past fiscal year.
"We've had a very active year with the creation of some 90 or so projects that our team, our economic development team, has been involved with for relocation and retention expansion," Bennot said.
And with big companies come big opportunities.
"They're bringing a bunch of jobs," Gonzalez said. "I mean, it's not 100, 200 jobs. We're talking 700, 800 jobs per company."
Gonzalez also said the job creations also lead to a stronger housing market for the city.
"Our permits are up in housing, and so the single family housing has gone up significantly, almost 40 percent," he said.
The city of Irving has been funding the Chamber of Commerce for economic development purposes since 1999.