Saturday, October 30, 2010

Work Force Services Claims Recovery; Jobs Lost

The Department of Workforce Services claims, “We are now several months into a slow recovery.” Yet New Mexico lost jobs, 2,400 of them, in the year between September 2009 and September 2010. Yes, we did gain 13,400 jobs between August and September as noted last week from the presentation of Mark Snead of the Kansas City Federal Reserve. It’s the year over year performance that counts, but the monthly change counts too. How DWS can cite the year of year loss of 2,400 jobs as “recovery” is beyond me.
Still, four employment sectors gained jobs in September. They are:
o Educational & Health Services – 3,300 jobs.
o Leisure & Hospitality – 2,400 jobs.
o Manufacturing – 1,700 jobs.
o Mining – 800 jobs.
The further good news from this situation is that three of the sectors provide what economic developers call “basic jobs,” those jobs paid for by money from outside the state and which products outside the state or local market. These gains aren’t large, but they suggest future good news. The “basic job” sectors are leisure & hospitality, manufacturing and mining. These sectors, along with professional and business services, are central to any economic recovery.
The September job performance for the four metro areas is:
Albuquerque: Monthly +3,300. Year over year -4,800.
Farmington: Monthly +400. Year over year -1,300.
Las Cruces: Monthly +1,300. Year over year +1,700.
Santa Fe: Monthly -600. Year over year -300.
Las Cruces has added jobs for several months. Las Cruces is out of recession.
By another measure, we’re down to “only” four counties with more than 10% unemployment. The counties are Mora, Luna, Guadalupe and Grant. In September, all four showed a lower unemployment rate that the previous month.

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