Friday, January 18, 2013

Jobs Losses Continue in December

Wage job losses continued across New Mexico in December. The seasonally unadjusted December 2011 to December 2012 loss was 3,200 or 0.4%. The Department of Workforce Services ad the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released numbers late this afternoon. DWS continues the nonsensical approach of talking about the state’s job growth, except that it is negative.
The monthly year-over-year job losses started in June and have continued. Before June we had ten months of tiny positive growth each month.
Among the sectors, mining, which has saved the state’s employment bacon all year, grew on 700 jobs for the year to employ 21,800 in December. Construction mysteriously showed a 1,600 job increase for the year to 42,400.
Manufacturing was up 300 jobs, about one percent. Education and health services added 1,200 jobs, also around one percent.
The big winner was leisure and hospitality with a 3,700 job increase. The sector is mostly tourism.
With a 2,900 job drop, the private sector loss leader continued to be professional and business services, home to lawyers, accountants and vast numbers of technical contractor types.
The biggest loser, so to speak, was government, down 5,600 jobs. State government provided 4,600 of those job loses, with, as reported elsewhere, nearly all from the non-education areas.
None of the changes in New Mexico’s employment picture were statistically significant. That means nothing much is happening here, but is happening brings negative totals.
The University of New Mexico forecasts job growth of more than one percent for 2013. Since I lack the pedigree to peer at the details of UNM’s numbers (that’s a long story), like you, I’m stuck with wondering what they are talking about, or smoking.

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