Friday, December 2, 2016

Eeducation and Health Services Show Slower Growth

New Mexico’s economic deceleration continued in the year from October 2015 to October 2016. The state lost 2,900 jobs, or 0.3% for the year. The Department of Workforce Solutions released the numbers Wednesday in its Labor Market Review newsletter.
The state lost 2,000 jobs, year over year, for September, gained 1,800 jobs for August and gained 9,600 jobs for July. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
A partial explanation comes from the education and health services sector, (aka mostly Medicaid) which gained 11,700 jobs in the year to July, 9,900 for August, 6,100 for September and ticked ever so slightly up for October to a 6,200-job gain. EHS remains by far the sector producing the most jobs. For the year to October, professional and business services (PBS) was second with 1,700 new jobs, followed by hospitality and leisure (H&L) with 1,000 jobs.
Those same three sectors produced 2,200 new jobs for metro Albuquerque, year over year. H&L led with 800 jobs. PBS and EHS both added 700 jobs. Albuquerque gained 1,900 jobs for the year, down from a 3,600 year-over-year September gain of 3,600.
Manufacturing lost 1,200 jobs in Albuquerque while the combined mining, logging and construction sector gained 1,600. The new jobs must be in construction because the metro has few mining and logging jobs. But what is being built? Facebook has barely started hiring. What else?
The other three metro areas, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Farmington, generated 1,000 jobs for October, year-over-year, down from 1,200 in September. The main difference was in Farmington, which lost 400 jobs in October after gained 200 in September.
Four states lost a greater percentage of their jobs over the year than did New Mexico. They are Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota and Wyoming, the champs with a 3.6% loss. Utah and Colorado were, respectively, four and fifth in percentage job year over year with 3% and 2.5% more jobs.
A happy note for New Mexico of unknown effect came with the December 1 announcement that OPEC cartel member nations plus some other countries will cut oil production. The reaction appears to be higher prices for U.S. producers.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Job Losses Grow in October

New Mexico joined a select group in October with its year-over-year loss of 2,900 wage jobs, a 0.3% drop. Only four other states lost jobs. Two of the states had statistically significant losses: North Dakota, Wyoming.
Our unemployment rate, 6.7% in October, was the nation’s second highest, just behind Alaska’s 6.8%.
We lost 2,000 jobs between September 2015 and September 2016.
Mining, meaning oil and gas, added 300 jobs between September and October. The October 2015 to October 2016 loss was 6,500 jobs.
Retail trade was the second biggest year-over-year loser, down 2,800 jobs. Wholesale trade lost 900 jobs. Manufacturing dropped 1,400 jobs for the period.
Local government education was down 1,500 jobs for the year after adding 900 jobs during September.
Metro Albuquerque’s labor force increased by around 5,500 during to be 421,000. Employment was up 5,500. Employment also increased in the other three metro areas: Farmington, Las Cruces and Santa Fe.
Details to come November 30.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Single Family Home Sales Drop From October 2915

The Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors released the October sale report the tenth. OK, a week late in getting the summary out to you.
There was news. Metro Albuquerque’s long run of monthly year-over-year single family home sales ended in October. Sales for the month were 825 homes, a 44-home, or 5.1%, drop from October 2015. Sales were well down from 969 homes in September, but that has to be the seasonal decline.
The homes the went to closing sold in an average of 54 days, five days faster than a year ago but slower than the 49 days during September and 51 days in October.
Pending sales during October went the other way, rising by five from September to 998 and posting a 152-home, or 19.4%, jump from October 2015.
Both the median and average sales prices were up about three percent from October 2015. The October 2916 median price was $189,000; the average was $218,252. The average price dropped about four percent from August and September when it was about $227,000. The October median price was just below the $190,000 median during August.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Rural Counties Lose 6,800 Jobs

All four metro areas added 4,800 wage jobs between September 2015 and September 2016 as the state lost 2,000 wage jobs for the year. The Department of Workforce Solutions released the detailed numbers late Friday afternoon.
Rural counties dropped 6,800 jobs.
Albuquerque led with 3,600 new jobs, a 0.9% gain. Las Cruces added 600 jobs, plus 0.8%; Santa Fe, 400 jobs added, plus 0.6%; Farmington, plus 200 jobs, plus 0.4%. The figures are seasonally unadjusted.
Principle sector performances, statewide, for the month and for the year were:
Education and health services (Medicaid): Month +700; Year +6,100.
Professional and business services: Month +100; Year +2,600.
Leisure and hospitality (tourism): Month -3,200; Year +1,300.
Mining and logging: Month -500; Year -6,900.
Retail: Month -800; Year -2,100.
Manufacturing: month -100; Year – 1,500.
Government: Month +5,900; Year -1,500.
Information: Month -900; Year -300.
The big over-the-month loss for tourism came with the end of the visitor season.
The big monthly gain for government was in education as students returned to school. However, both state government education (universities) and local government education (K-12) lost jobs for the year.
In Albuquerque, year-over-year, both professional and business services (+1,500 and leisure and hospitality (+1,300) out performed education and health services (+1,200).
State government gained 700 jobs for the month and 1,200 for the year. Local government gained 900 jobs for the month and lost 200 for the year
Las Cruces lost 400 government jobs for the year. Santa Fe and Farmington together gained 300 government jobs. In Las Cruces the one big year-over-year gainer was education and health services with 1,200 more jobs. Nothing happened in Santa Fe with eight private sector categories showing no change over the year.

Friday, October 21, 2016

2,000 Wage Jobs Lost During September

New Mexico dropped a net of 2,000 wage jobs in the year from September 2015 to September 2016. The unemployment rate climbed another tenth of a point to 6.7%, according to the September job release from the Department of Workforce Solutions. DWS release the release late this afternoon. New Mexico had 61,454 people unemployed during September (not seasonally adjusted), an increase of almost 3,000 from September 2015.
For the month between August 2016 and September 2016, New Mexico dropped 4,200 jobs, third best nationally after Wisconsin (-10,500 jobs) and Alabama (-6,600 jobs). New Mexico did step up to lead in job loss percentage for the month at -0.5%, reported the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which provides the numbers to DWS.
The national unemployment rate is 5%. Colorado’s unemployment rate is 3.6%.
Texas had the largest over-the-month job gain with 38,300 and was third year-over-year at 206,800.
Along the state’s sectors, mining (i.e., oil and gas) continued to lose, down 500 more jobs for the month and 6,900 over the year. Manufacturing and government both lost 1,500 jobs. Local government education (the public schools) gained 3,800 for the month but showed a 1,200-job loss year-over-year. State government education added 3,000 jobs during the month, but lost 600 for the year.
The growing sectors continued to be education and health services (Medicaid) with 6,100 new jobs, year-over-year; professional and business services, +2,600; and leisure and hospitality (tourism) 1,300 more jobs year-over-year. Leisure and hospitality dropped 3,200 jobs during September with the end of the prime summer season.
Metro Albuquerque saw the labor force grow to 418,002 over the year, an increase of almost 6,000. Albuquerque employment grew about 4,000.
Employment in metro Las Cruces and Santa Fe grew about 1,100. Farmington employment grew by 300.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Abq Home Sales Continue Year-Over-Year Increase

During September homes both sold more quickly and for more money, according to the September sales report released today by the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors.
The number of homes offered for sale continued to drop, going from 4,553 in September 2015 and 3,982 in August 2016 to 3,902 for September 2016.
September sales of single family detached homes in metro Albuquerque showed a 10% decline from August, dropping from 1,071 in August to 969 in September. Average daily sales were 34.5 homes in August and 32.3 in September, a 2.2 unit, or six percent, drop per day. The daily sales comparison accounts for September having one less day than August.
Closed sales continued the 2016 year over year increase from 2015 with a 42-unit, or 4.5% increase from September 2015.
Detached homes were on the market an average of 49 days during September, two days less than August and ten days, or 17%, less than the 59-day average sales period from September 2015.
The median sales price, $195,000 during September, increased $16,000 or 8.4% from September 2015. That increase probably is explained by the September 2015 median sales prices, $179,000, showing an unusual drop. The $195,000 median sales price was $5,000 or three percent, more than August.
The average sales price was $227,898 during September. That was up $1,400 from August and $6,000 or 2.7% more than September 2015.
There were 73 “attached homes” (townhouses or condominiums) sold during September, down 24% from September 2015. However, pending sales increased 14 units to 103 during September 2016 from 89 in September 2015.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Job for August: Not Much Happening

September 29, 2016
Modestly detailed wage job numbers appear each month for four areas of the New Mexico economy—the entire state and the metro areas of Albuquerque Santa Fe, and Las Cruces. The Farmington metro (San Juan County) only gets summary numbers.
For the state and for Las Cruces the education and health services sector more that explained all the seasonally unadjusted wage job growth between August 2015 and August 2016, according to figures released Tuesday from the Department of Workforce Solutions.
The state has 9,900 new EHS jobs with 1,800 total new jobs, i.e., a net loss of 8,100 jobs from all other sectors. Leisure and hospitality added 2,500 jobs statewide year-over-year.
In Santa Fe it was a tie between EHS and tourism, aka leisure and hospitality, each with 400 new jobs over the year and 1,100 new jobs total. There were 400 new jobs in “other services.”
Las Cruces produced 400 new jobs and 900 in EHS, for a loss of 500 in other sectors.
Besides EHS, in Albuquerque professional and business services show a decent gain of 1,200 jobs for the year. EHS is the only other big winner with 3,300 jobs.
The statewide losers continue to be mining (oil and gas), -6,800, and manufacturing, -1,700.
Zeros litter the metro jobs reports. Not much is happening.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Mining Losses Grow During August

More Medicaid and tourism, less mining. Same sectors did the same things during the year from August 2015 to August 2016.
Our unemployment rate change from July to August is considered statistically significant by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which prepares the numbers and sends then to the Department of Workforce Solutions, which sent the news release this afternoon. The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate went to 6.6% in August from 6.4% in July. We added 2,651 people to the unemployed rolls between August 2015 and August 2016. The August unemployment was 63,970, seasonally unadjusted, and the labor force was 924,095.
Adjust for the seasons and unemployment was up 178, year over year, to 61,292, with employment at 927,810.
Back to being unadjusted, we added 1,800 wage jobs over the year, a rockin’ 0.2% growth rate.
Ming and logging (pretty much oil and gas) dropped 6,800 jobs year over year, 200 greater annual loss than from July 2015 to July 2016 with 400 jobs gone between July and August. DWS somehow couldn’t mention the July to July performance, instead calling attention to the 7,500-job decline in February. Right!
Increases came with the usual suspects: Education and health services (Medicaid, mostly) +9,900; Leisure and hospitality, +2,500; professional and business services, +1,500.
Manufacturing dropped 1,700 jobs over the year, but sector job total held at 26,500 from July to August. Retail trade dropped 1,600 jobs.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Metro Real Estate Market Flat in August

After dropping in July to 990, pending sales of single family detached homes in metro Albuquerque rebounded to 1,148 in August, the highest pending performance of 2016. The Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors released the August sales report on Monday afternoon. Until July, pending sales had been above 1,000 since February.
Those 1,148 pending sales showed a 24% improvement from August 2015.
Outside the pending category, the metro Albuquerque was quiet during August as compared to July.
Closed sales of detached homes “jumped” two units from July to 1,071 in August. That performance, the second highest of the year following June, did show a nine percent increase from August 2015.
The median sales price was $190,000 during August. The average price was $226,422. Both were a 1.6% increase from August 2015 and a slight increase from July.
Detached metro homes were on the market an average of 51 days until selling, a five day shorter sales period than during August 2015. The sales period average 48 days during July and 47 for June.
There were 1,541 detached homes newly listed on the market during August, the second lowest new listing month of 2016 after short February.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Las Cruces Wage Jobs Grow 2%

It’s been a while since a two percent year-over-year wage job growth report appeared in the state. Las Cruces, long a metro laggard, made the grade with two percent growth between July 2015 and July 2016.
Albuquerque and Santa Fe did decently well by the New Mexico low bar with, respectively, 5,300 new jobs and 1.4 percent growth and 1,100 jobs and a 1.7 percent increase. Farmington dropped the ball with a loss of 300 jobs, or 0.6 percent, during the period.
The four-metro net job increase was 7,500, which means the rural counties added 2,100 jobs to make the state’s 9,600 new jobs. All these figures are seasonally unadjusted.
The Department of Workforce Solutions released the July job report this afternoon.
New Mexico lost 6,800 jobs during July and gained 9,600 jobs over the year between July 2015 and July 2016. The July losses concentrated in local government, down 6,100 jobs with 5,000 fewer jobs in education. This DWS explains, is an entirely season phenomenon.
Of the 11,700 education and health services new jobs year-over-year mentioned last week, 3,900 were in Albuquerque, 1,200 in Santa Fe and 500 in Santa Fe. The total for the three metros was 5,600 EHS jobs, or 48 percent of the state total. EHS employees worked an average of 32.1 hours each week and earned $20.27 per hour.
Besides EHS, Albuquerque’s other big gainer was professional and business services with 1,800 new jobs year over year. Leisure and hospitality added 500 jobs. Manufacturing lost 1,200.
The 1,200 new EHS jobs in Las Cruces largely explain the city’s year over year job gain of 1,400 jobs.

Friday, August 19, 2016

NM Adds 11,700 Education/Health Jobs. Maybe

If this keeps up, the only people working in New Mexico will be part of the education and health services sector. That’s because the EHS sector added 11,700 jobs between July 2016 and July 2017, the Department of Workforce Solutions reported this afternoon with a straight face. That’s 2,100 more than the seasonally unadjusted wage job growth of 9,600 jobs for the entire state. And that means all the other job sectors sector together lost those 2,100 jobs.
Or not. The DWS release said, “Based on historical seasonal patterns, which have previously shown employment decreases in June and July, these gains are expected to be revised down later.” No DWS estimates appeared for the presumably coming revisions.
The state’s unemployment rate bumped to a seasonally adjusted 6.4%, for third place nationally behind Alaska (6.7%) and Nevada (6.5%). Our unemployment rate increase from 6.2% in June to 6.4% was considered “statistically significant” by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, federal source of the numbers processed by DWS. The labor force grew by 8,500 (encroaching optimism?) to 926,421. The number of wage jobs, seasonally adjusted, grew 7,600 to 830,500.
The mining/logging sector lost 6,600 jobs, year over year. In Lea County, the labor force has dropped 1,200 over the year to 28,291, seasonally unadjusted; employment has dropped 2,000, pushing the unemployment rate to 9.9%.
Manufacturing continued to erode, down another 1,600 jobs to 26,400.
A piece of good news is the 1,900-job increase in professional and business services, pushing the sector total to 102,500. Local government, that engine of growth, added 3,200 jobs, year over year.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Metro Abq Home Sales Down in July

Sales of single family detached homes in metro Albuquerque dropped 1.5% or 16 units from July, according to the monthly sales report released today by the greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors ( The 1,058 closed sales were two ahead of July 2015.
The pending sales are moving to closed sales. In July, 90% of the 1,173 sales pending during June were closed. It was 89% of May pending sales closing in June.
The sold homes were on the market an average of 48 days during July, three more days than during June. This 48-day figure was 12 days, or 20%, faster than the 60 average sales period during July 2015.
Sellers are pretty much getting the price they ask. The selling price was 97.9% of the list price during July. That was a slight increase, one-half of one percent, from July.
Though median and average prices increased from July 2015, the prices dropped from June.
The median detached home price was $189,900, + 3.2% from $184,000 in July 2015 and down 4.6% from $199,000 in June
The average price was $226,192, a 6.8% increase from $2211,769 in July 2015 and down 4% from $235,110 in June.
For attached homes—condos and townhouses—down was the direction for closed sales and prices, both median and average.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Permian Still Loved

The Permian Basin remains a favorite for investors and energy companies. The Permian is in West Texas and loops into southeast New Mexico, Lea County in particular. This comment is from the Wall Street Journal, Saturday/Sunday, August 6-7, 2016 issue, page B1.
"'We don't see a world in which you can balance the supply equation without the Permian,' said Brian Bradshaw, co-chief investment officer at a hedge-fund firm founded by famed oil man, T. Boone Pickens."
The comment was in a story about Parsley Energy, Inc., of Austin and its founder Bryan Sheffield, becoming a billionaire at age 38.

Friday, July 29, 2016

All Four NM Metro Areas Add June Jobs

All four New Mexico metro areas added jobs in June, something of a rarity. The Department of Workforce Solutions released the numbers today in its Labor Market Review newsletter.
The metro areas accounted for 11,000 new wage jobs (not seasonally adjusted) in the year from June 2015 to June 2016. Rural counties generated 3,000 new wage jobs, year over year, to produce the statewide total of 14,000 jobs. The statewide job growth was a 1.7%, good for a heady 25th place among state job growth rates. New Mexico tied with Ohio. One can just imagine Susana Martinez and John Kasich jointly touting their state’s “success.”
Metro Albuquerque added 9,100 jobs, a 2.4% increase, with 1,000 in Santa Fe, 800 in Las Cruces and 100 in Farmington.
In Albuquerque, education and health services (i.e., mostly Medicaid) showed 3,500 new wage jobs, year over year. Professional and business services, full of basic industry types such as computer consultants, showed 2,500 new jobs, followed by leisure and hospitality with 1,900 jobs. The three sectors produced 7,900 jobs, over the year, 87% of metro Albuquerque’s new jobs.
Education and health services had 800 new jobs in Santa Fe over the year with another 500 from leisure and hospitality (tourism). Together the two sectors found 1,300 new jobs, year over year, meaning that all other economic activity in the City Different combined to lose 300 jobs. DWS reminded us that the City of Santa Fe will lay off 40 employees to closed a $12 million (or so) budget hole. The job losers, all classified as 90-day emergency hires, have been employed for up to eight years.
In Las Cruces, education and health services dominated with 1,000 new jobs, 200 more than the metro’s 800 new jobs.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Seasonally Adjust the Job Numbers and Nice Increase Drops 45%

No real new news came from the June jobs release this afternoon from the Department Workforce Solutions. The year over year (June 2015 to June 2016) wage job increase figure did improve to 14,000, almost five times the 2,900 new jobs reported from May 2015 to May 2016. So I guess that’s news. The performance is not considered statistically significant by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also released figures today.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the BLS said, the year over year increase as 7,700, or 0.93%. Seasonally adjusted, the state has added 2,000 jobs since April. Not much.
At 6.2%, the state’s June unemployment rate remains statistically significantly higher than the national rate of 4.9%.
The same-old-same-old is that 70% of the increase, or 9,800 jobs, came from the education and health services sector, which mostly means Medicaid.
Another 5,300 jobs came from leisure and hospitality, which is mostly tourism and is having a good year, according to the Tourism Department. The sector’s 5.9% increase was the largest, DWS said, since sector sectors began in 1990.
Mining (mostly oil and gas production) and logging added 400 jobs during May. The year over year loss was 5,900 jobs, the smallest since November 2015. This report is consistent with national reports that oil production firms are adding a few jobs.
Between May and June unemployment grew another 332 people, a 13.2% jump, and at 9.7% ranked third highest in the state. The Farmington unemployment rate is 9.1%.
Professional and business services, home to landscape architects and technical consultants, added 3,900 jobs over the year, a nice 3.8% increase. The PBS sector reclaimed the 100,000-job level in April.