Thursday, January 26, 2012

Rural Jobs Grow 3.4% During 2010. Three Metros Lose.

The number of wage jobs grew by 8,600 in New Mexico’s 26 rural counties during 2011, according to my arithmetic using figures released today by the Department of Workforce Services. The numbers are non-seasonally adjusted and therefore will be a bit different from those in Tuesday’s post, which were seasonally adjusted.

The rural counties hosted 250,100 jobs in December 2011. The 8,600-job increase is 3.4% growth, a very good rate by any standard. The rural growth offset a 1,200 job decline year-over-year in the four metro areas, bringing the state to a 7,400-job increase for 2011.

Santa Fe contributed 1,000 new jobs for the year. Albuquerque, Las Cruces and Farmington combined to lose 2,200 jobs, led by Albuquerque, down another 1,700 jobs. All four metros lost jobs between November and December. Together the four dropped 1,800 jobs.

Statewide, seven sectors gained wage jobs during the year. Five lost. Professional and business services stayed the same at 92,000 employees.

Education and health services led the gainers with 4,300 new jobs, followed by retail, up 3,700, and finance with a 2,800 job gain that is an extraordinary nine percent increase. Construction led the losers, down another 14% on 6,000 jobs. Other services lost 1,400 jobs, followed by government, down 1,300. State government gained 400 jobs over the year, even as state government education lost 2,100.

While it would be nice to have those construction workers busy constructing, construction depends on the primary sectors. Construction doesn’t happen alone.

Primary sectors adding jobs during 2010 were mining, manufacturing, and leisure and hospitality.

New Mexico’s wage job growth ranked 33rd among the states. All our neighbors beat us. Utah, 2nd with 3% growth; Oklahoma, 3rd with 2.7%; Texas, 6th with 2%; and Arizona, 10th with 1.6%.

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