Friday, March 30, 2012

NM Adds Jobs for 7th Month

New Mexico’s job behavior trend has become established, perhaps really a trend. The jobs are coming—just a few and slowly. But the jobs are coming. February marked the seventh consecutive month of increase in the wage job totals, the Department of Workforce Services reported this afternoon. All the numbers reported here will be of the non seasonally adjusted variety unless otherwise noted.

On a year-over-year comparison, February brought us 5,100 more wage jobs statewide, a 0.6% increase from the 795,700 jobs in February 2011. The February 2012 job total is 800,800.

Those 5,100 jobs represent a net of 6,000 more private sector jobs, year-over-year, and a 900-job loss in government.

New Mexico’s small job changes are insignificant, statistically, the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Well, the BLS didn’t report the insignificance, but New Mexico didn’t make the monthly lists of significant changes in employment and unemployment.

The labor force grew in February, up 6,600 over the year. This placed New Mexico in the happy and unusual position of being a positive exception to the performance of others, the mountain region in this case. The mountain states showed a 29,200-person drop in the labor force from February 2011 to February 2012.

All four metro areas added employees in February, year over year, another change from the recent past. The metro growth total was 4,643, just over two-thirds of the state employment increase of 6,851. (Standard disclaimer: Employment is different from wage jobs.) Albuquerque added 2,082; Farmington, 447; Las Cruces, 788; Santa Fe, 1,326.

Among the sectors, year over year, mining and logging (which is nearly all mining and includes oil and gas) led the growth of basic industries with a 2,500 wage job increase, making for 11% growth. Leisure and hospitality followed with 1,800 new wage jobs.

Educational and health services, which I always associate with government (think Medicaid), led all sectors with 5,700 new wage jobs.

Retail added 1,100 jobs over the year while construction lost 1,100.

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