Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Abq, Farmington Dominate Job Growth

The Albuquerque/Farmington metro job growth combo continued to dominate the state in the year from September 2014 to September 2015. The year-on-year switch from recent months is that the rest of the state lost jobs if one subtracts the 8,700 new wage jobs in Albuquerque and Farmington.
The statewide gain was 7,600 jobs, a 0.9% increase that trailed every state in the region except Wyoming, which isn’t quite in the southwest and which lost 0.9% of its jobs. Oklahoma’s 0.1% increase was closed to New Mexico. Job growth in the other states bordering New Mexico was 1.7%, Colorado; 1.9%, Texas; 2.3% Arizona; 3.9% Utah.
The numbers here are not seasonally adjusted.
At 2.1%, Albuquerque’s annual increase of 7,800 jobs was decent on a percentage basis. Farmington’s 900-job increase was 1.8%. The Las Cruces recession continued with a 1,300-job or 1.8% job loss for period. Santa Fe dropped 100 jobs.
The figures were released yesterday in the Labor Market Review newsletter of the Department of Workforce Solutions.
In Albuquerque the big gainers year-over-year were professional and business services (+3,000); construction (+2,000); education and health services (+1,900); and leisure and hospitality (+1,400). Manufacturing, retail and government together lost 800 obs.
For Las Cruces, professional and business services (-700) and construction (-600) explain the job losses. Smaller losses in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, services and government were offset by gains in education and health services, retail and transportation.
In oil news, employment Lea County employment was down 1,500 for the year.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Mediocre Job Growth continues, Unemployment Rate Up

During September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today, 37 states and the District of Columbia showed a lower unemployment than in August. Six states were higher, seven showed no change.
New Mexico was one of the six with 6.8% unemployment in September, 6.7% in August and 5.9% in September 2014.
One reason for the unemployment rate increase is that our labor force grew by 7,000 people in the year between September 2014 and September 2015. Employment went from 858,900 in September 2014 to 861,200 a year later.
One might argue that once people are optimistic enough to join the labor force and seek employment, it takes a while to get the job. A ringer in the logic is that on a seasonally adjusted basis, the labor force has dropped 6,100 since July to 923,700 in September.
Remove the adjustment and our labor force—916,300 in September—is down a bit during the year and up by 1,300 since August.
Wage job growth over the year hung in at mediocre with 0,9% increase, or 7,600 jobs. Still, jobs are jobs.
The sector growth leader was education and health services, up 2,900 jobs, or 2.2% for the year. Second place went to leisure and hospitality, tourism in other words, with a 2.7%, or 2,500-job, one-year increase or about a third of the state’s total gain. Tourism dropped 3,200 jobs in August, presumably as the temporary hires became unhired. Professional and business services was third with 2,000 more jobs over the year, though down 1,000 from August.
Mining, meaning oil and gas, was the leading sector loser, down 1,100 jobs. Retail trade dropped 700 job while whole increase 300.
Local government growth continues with 900 more jobs, 400 of them in education.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Metro Home Sales Continue Well Above 2014

New mortgage rules, effective this month, may squeeze home sales nationally, reported the Wall Street today, just as the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors issued the September sales report. In theory the new rules are supposed to make it easier to understand mortgage terms. But, following the rule about never being able to do just one thing, other pieces of the mortgage process have changed with possible negative effects.
Other proposed federal rules have driven some big lenders from the mortgage business. J.P. Morgan has mostly dropped FHA lending, which will hurt first-time and credit-poor buyers. Wells Fargo will raise its minimum credit score from 600 to 640.
In metro Albuquerque during September, closed sales of single family detached homes dropped 62 units, or 7%, from August. Pending sales dropped 8%, or 87 units, from August. The changes appear to be seasonal as sales slow during the fall from the summer.
Closed sales were 886 homes during September. Pending sales were 1,000 homes. September closed sales were 82% of the 1,087 sales that were pending during August.
The home that closed sales were on the market an average of 57 days, the fourth consecutive month under 60 days.
The September sales performance remained well ahead of 2014. Closed sales increased 26% from September 2014 with pending sales up 17%.
The average sales price for September, $224,353, was the third highest of 2015, but just a whisker behind June and August which both were just over $226,000. The average sales price appears to have gotten a boost from strong sales in the higher price categories, those including homes priced at more than $250,000.
However, the median price, $180,850, was down $9,100, or 5% from August, and was the third lowest price since May. Even so, the September median was up 3.3% from a year ago.
The absorption rate dropped to 4.87 months for September, meaning that it would take 4.87 months to sell the metro’s current inventory of homes. A six-month supply is the traditional definition of an average market, GAAR says. The absorption rate has been below six months since December 2014.