El Paso has a diversified economy focused primarily within international trade, military, government civil service, oil and gas, health care, tourism and service sectors. The El Paso metro area had a GDP of $29 billion in 2011. There were also $92 billion worth of trade in 2012. Over the past 15 years the city has become a significant location for American-based call centers. Cotton, fruit, vegetables, and livestock are also produced in the area. El Paso has added a significant manufacturing sector with items and goods produced that include petroleum, metals, medical devices, plastics, machinery, defense-related goods and automotive parts. The city is the second busiest international crossing point in the U.S behind San Diego.
El Paso is home to one Fortune 500 company in Western Refining, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. This makes the city one of six Texas metro areas to have at least one Fortune 500 company call it home; the others being Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi. The city has three other publicly traded companies in Helen of Troy Limited, a NASDAQ-listed company that manufactures personal health care products under many labels, such as OXO, Dr. Scholl's, Vidal Sassoon, Pert Plus, Brut and Sunbeam, among others. The third publicly traded company is El Paso Electric listed on the New York Stock Exchange, a public utility engaging in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in west Texas and southern New Mexico. The fourth publicly traded company is Western Refining Logistics also traded in the New York Stock Exchange. It is a Western Refining subsidiary which owns, operates, develops, and acquires terminals, storage tanks, pipelines, and other logistics assets.
More than 70 Fortune 500 companies have offices in El Paso, including AT&T, ADP, Boeing, Charles Schwab, Delphi, dish network, Eureka, Hoover, Raytheon, State Farm and USAA. Hispanic Business Magazine included 28 El Paso companies in its recently released list of the 500 largest Hispanic owned businesses in the United States. El Paso's 28 companies are second only to Miami's 57. The list of largest Hispanic owned businesses include companies like Fred Loya Insurance, Dos Lunas Spirits, Dynatec Labs, Spira Footwear and El Taco Tote. El Paso was home to El Paso Corporation formerly known as El Paso Natural Gas Company.
The city also has a large military presence with Fort Bliss, William Beaumont Army Medical Center and Biggs Army Airfield. The defense industry in El Paso employs over 37,000 and provides a $6 billion annual impact to the city's economy. Fort Bliss was chosen as the newly configured U.S. Air Force Security Forces Regional Training Center which will bring 8,000 to 10,000 Air Force personnel annually.
An M1 Abrams tank crew on Fort Bliss' Doña Ana Range
In addition to the military, the federal government has a strong presence in El Paso to manage its status and unique issues as an important border region. Operations headquartered in El Paso include the DEA domestic field division 7, El Paso Intelligence Center, Joint Task Force North, U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector and U.S. Border Patrol Special Operations Group (SOG).
Call center operations make up seven of the top 10 business employers in El Paso. With no signs of growth slowing in this industry, in 2005, the 14 largest call centers in El Paso employed more than 10,000 people. Automatic Data Processing has an office in West El Paso, employing about 1,100 people with expansion plans to reach 2,200 by 2020.
Tourism is another major industry in El Paso, bringing in $1.5 billion-a-year and over 2.3 million visitors annually due to the city's sunny weather, natural beauty, rich cultural history and many outdoor attractions.