Friday, September 24, 2010

State Job Situation Better? Uhhh...

Once again the Department of Workforce Services injects optimism into their report of monthly job numbers. The new numbers, released yesterday, are for August. And once again, it’s difficult to take the optimism seriously. DWS economists please note that my problem is with the DWS communications staff and their bosses in the Governor’s office, not with you.

The DWS news release says, “There are signs of improvement from conditions earlier in the year.”

Well, sort of.

We do have job growth in three of the 13 job sectors. That’s up from two sectors with job growth, which has been the pattern for months and months. Some difference exists in the growing sectors. That’s the only good news I see.

Job gains appear in two basic industries, Leisure and Hospitality and Manufacturing. Education and Health Services once again added jobs.

Government lost 3,700 fewer jobs with state government down 4,300 and local government losing 1,400 over the August-to-August year. The feds added 2,000 over the year, which seems odd since the census jobs were supposed to start disappearing months ago.

Statewide, the total year-over-year job loss is 9,900, or 1.2%. Albuquerque, down 7,300 jobs, leads the pack. That’s 74% of the state total.

Las Cruces added 1,200 jobs over the year, a 1.8% increase. Seven of the 12 job groups increased employment during the year.

Santa Fe lost another 800, or 1.3%, of its wage jobs, year-over-year. Government broke even in Santa Fe for the year with the feds up 200 and state and local both down 100.

Wage employment in Farmington was down 1,300, or 2.7%, from August 2009 to August 2010.

Statewide, seven counties have more than ten percent unemployed. Mora and Luna lead, both with 14.8% unemployed. The other five are in the ten percent range.

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