Monday, April 18, 2016

Leisure and Hospitality Jobs Up 5.3%, Mining down 25%

The start the year, New Mexico’s job engine (snicker) showed a January 2015 to January 2016 performance of a decrease of 1,800 jobs. The year-over-year “growth” for February was 300, meaning zero, which the Department of Workforce Solutions pointed out before talking about the “month’s very modest gain.”
For March the year-over-year gain was 3,000 jobs, probably enough to mean that indeed a few jobs were added around the state after considering statistical variability.
For the sectors, leisure and hospitality led the percentage growth with a 5.3% increase from 4,800 jobs. The larger education and health services sector led the number gain with 6,800 new jobs, or 5.1%.
Professional and business services (+800 jobs), construction (+700 jobs) and other services (+600) were the other private sector gainers.
Local government added 800 jobs. The devil in that detail is the 800-job loss in local government education, namely the public schools, which means that the rest of local government gained 1,600 jobs.
Mining is down 6,900 jobs, or a bit more than 25%, from a year ago. The sector now has 20,100 jobs.
Employment (different from wage jobs) was up about 5,500 in metro Albuquerque to 392,000. In Farmington, employment dropped about 700 during the year and increased 600 in Las Cruces and 200 in Santa Fe.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Home Sales Jump 40% in March

The February increase in metro Albuquerque sales of single family detached homes appears to have turned into the spring seasonal increase. Closed sales during March jumped 40% from February to 896 units, an 8.3 hike from March 2016.
Those 896 homes sold in an average of 62 days, an eight day improvement from February.
The Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors released the March sales figures on April 11.
The market remains tight, tilting toward sellers. The adsorption rate is 3.85, indicating that it would take 3.85 months to clear the present inventory of 3198 detached homes.
The negative, if one wants to call it that, is that the March jump was lower than the 49% that sales during March 2015 grew from February 2015.
The March 2016 closed sales were 86% of the 1,040 sales pending during February. For March, pending sales increased to 1,188, up 148 from February, or 14%. The March pending sales were 7.8% ahead of March 2015.
Though still below last fall, prices are doing well for a March. The March median price of $180,000 is the highest March median since 2009. The March median increased $2,000 from February and was up 2.9% from a year ago.
The March average price, $218,141, is also the highest since 2009. The March average was nearly $6,000 more than February, a three percent increase, and a 3.8% increase from March 2015.
Sale of ten detached homes in the $750,000 - $999,000 price range helped the average price. This category had two March sales last year and three in 2015.

Monday, April 4, 2016

ART Draws Lawsuit

The proposed Albuquerque Rapid Transit project has drawn a lawsuit, the Albuquerque Journal reported today. Another suit is expected. While I'm totally outside active participation in this dispute, the suits appear to be part of a delaying approach by opponents. The project would run a bus line using fancy buses down the middle of Central Ave., eating two of the four present traffic lanes. Opposition has been vehement.