Thursday, June 23, 2011

Labor Force Drops 9,800, Albuquerque Leads Job Losses

People are dropping from New Mexico’s labor force far faster than jobs are appearing, says the Department of Workforce Services in the May job report, released this afternoon. That means the unemployment rate is down, but that’s the result of fewer people caring enough to say they are unemployed. New Mexico had the nation’s largest April-to-May unemployment rate drop with 0.7 percentage point decline to 6.9%.
Our labor force was 954,100 in May 2010 and 944,300 in May 2011.
New Mexico lost another 6,300 wage jobs from May 2010 through May 2011, making for 31 consecutive months of statewide job declines.
Albuquerque, now aided by Las Cruces, continues to be the black hole of the New Mexico economy. Albuquerque lost 3,700 jobs for the year with Las Cruces dropping another 1,700. Albuquerque added 800 jobs during May.
Santa Fe and Farmington both added a few jobs year-over-year and during May. The joint year-over-year growth was 500 jobs.
Albuquerque and Las Cruces dropping 5,400 jobs and Farmington and Santa Fe adding 500 means that the rural counties lost 1,400 jobs, year-over-year.
Two important segments of New Mexico’s basic economy added jobs during the year. Leisure and hospitality was up 1,500 jobs, or 1.8%. Mining employment grew by 1,300.
The growth leader again was education and health services with a 4,200 annual gain. The education part contains all sorts of instructional firms from private colleges such and St. John’s in Santa Fe to University of the Southwest in Hobbs to driving schools. Health care means all the obvious stuff including medical practitioners, hospitals, blood banks and ambulance firms, kidney dialysis, home health care and child day care companies, so long as they are in the private sector. But as you can see, government pays for much of the health sector.
The information segment, which contains movie production, continued to lose jobs, down 1,100 year-over-year For all those claiming sustainability or stability or something like that from the heavily subsidized movie business, here’s the DWS version of the truth. The “motion picture component is subject to large employment fluctuations based on film production activity. April, May, and June 2010 each produced an elevated jobs estimate, so another large over-the-year loss, possibly even greater than April’s, will
likely occur in June.”
Professional and business services, for some time the state’s weakest basic sector, showed a 100-job annual gain. The gain came in temporary help, hardly something to cheer.

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