Sunday, September 27, 2015

Metro Albuquerque Leads in August Job Gains

August wage job numbers for metro areas show Albuquerque continuing to dominate the metro and state performance (now there’s a switch from the past few years) with Farmington well behind, Santa Fe with no growth and Las Cruces losing. The Department of Workforce Solutions released the numbers late Friday with the issue of its Labor Market Review newsletter.
Albuquerque added 5,500 new jobs between August 2014 and August 2015. Education and health services “only” added 2,100 new jobs over the year, 38% of the Albuquerque total. EHS added 183% of the state’s 3,000 net jobs for the period. At 0.4%, the state’s jobs growth year-over-year ranked 45th nationally. Three states gained jobs at a lower rate than New Mexico and three states lost jobs.
Professional and business services led Albuquerque’s gains with 2,500 jobs. The Duke City’s other gainers were construction, +900, and leisure and hospitality (tourism), +800.
DWS does not provide detail that would allow us to explain Farmington’s 800 net new jobs.
In Santa Fe, EHS and tourism (leisure and hospitality) were the sector leaders, up 500 and 200 jobs respectively over the year. Construction lost 600 jobs.
Las Cruces’ year-over-year jobs losses were led by 900 fewer jobs in professional businesses services and a drop of 700 in construction.
The statewide net new job total was 2,800 between July and August with government provided 5,500 jobs and construction losing 2,500. Three quarters of the August government jobs came from local government education, meaning that school started. These figures are not seasonally adjusted. Over the August-to-August year, local government education lost 1,300 jobs, again not seasonally adjusted.

Friday, September 18, 2015

August Job Report: Govt, Construction, Services, Mining Lose Big

Real job growth disappeared in New Mexico during August, as compared to August 2014. What that means is that the education and health services sector produced 5,500 new wage jobs during the year. Since the sector is driven by Medicaid growth, I don’t consider the jobs real, in the sense of producing wealth for New Mexicans and building the state.
The Department of Workforce Solutions and the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the August job summary this afternoon.
The state generated 3,000 new jobs, year-over-year. All the other sectors lost 2,500 jobs. Education and health services made up the difference. Leisure and hospitality (tourism) produced 3,300 new jobs. So the rest of the state, minus those two, lost 5,800 jobs. That’s a lot.
Government, down 2,200, led the losers, followed by “other services,” minus 1,500. Construction lost 2,000 jobs. The oil slump caught up with New Mexico, producing the loss of 1,000 jobs in mining, which includes oil and gas.
The only other good news was 1,300 jobs, year-over-year, in professional and business services.
The unemployment rate nudged up to 6.7% from 6.5% in July and 6.4% in July 2014. New Mexico and Nebraska were the only two states with statistically significant unemployment rate increases.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

August Abq Home Sales Drop From July

The Business First newspaper accepted the word from the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors that August was a good month for home sales in metro Albuquerque. And it was a good month, but GAAR, which released the August sales report today, was blowing a little smoke.
The good news came in comparison to August 2014. In comparison to July and June, the indicators were down.
During August, buyers closed on 948 home purchases, 15% more than the 22 sales closed during August 2014. Homes with the sale pending during August were 1,087, a 27% increase from a year before.
Closed and pending sales were down six percent from July and also declined from June.
The homes that closed were on the market an average of 54 days, two days quicker than June and five days ahead of August.
Sales of townhouses and condominiums behaved in roughly the same way with a nice increase from August 2014 and down from July 2015. A difference with detached homes is that condo sales prices, both the median and the average, dropped from July and from August 2014.
For detached homes, median and average prices increased from July—7% to $226,254 for the average prices and, for the median, 3% to $189,950. The prices also showed a healthy increase from August 2014 and were the highest August prices since 2006 for the median and 2008 for the average. However, both median and average prices were below June.
During August, three homes in metro Albuquerque sold for $1 million or more. My guess is that these three pulled up the average price by $2,250.
My favorite rough metric relates closed sales in one month to pending sales the previous month. The theory is that since sales take about 45 days to close, sales close in the month following the appearance on the pending list. During June, 80% of the May pending sales closed. For July the pending sales percentage was a very high 85% with 82% in August.
If the seasonal pattern appears, sales will drop again in September. During 2014, August sales of detached homes were 822 followed by September with 703 sales.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Spaceport Called Great "New Place to See"

The cover story in the September issue of the Smithsonian magazine is "The 25 Greatest New Places to See." Spaceport America is on the list. Lest one think that Smithsonian has a thing about interesting large and really isolated buildings, the short accompanying article is about Virgin Galactic, which plans, someday, suborbital flights from the Spaceport. Find the article somewhere at
Meanwhile, in the much shorter term,filming of a movie, "The Space Between Us," begins September 16 at the Spaceport and then moves to Albuquerque and Santa Fe through early November. The schedule reflects the film business project mode.