Friday, May 27, 2016

Eight States Lose Jobs in April; NM Loses the Fewest

The detailed wage job numbers for April, released late this afternoon by the Department of Workforce Solutions, confirm that metro Albuquerque is doing almost decently and certainly better than everywhere else in New Mexico. The figures below are not seasonally adjusted.
Albuquerque gained 3,200 jobs for the month and 4,700 for the year between April 2015 and April 2016. The year-over-year increase was 1.2%, hardly stellar, but far better than the state and other metro areas.
Farmington continued its unhappy performance with a 400-job loss, or 0.78%, over the year. Santa Fe added 500 jobs. Education and Health Services, up 500 jobs for the year, explains the Santa Fe growth.
Las Cruces added 200. The Las Cruces growth came on the strength of 900 more jobs in Education and Health Services, a 6.2% increase. Other Las Cruces sectors either lost a little or showed no change for the month.
In metro Albuquerque, as elsewhere, Education and Health Services led the growth, up 5.2%, or 3,200 jobs, year over year. Professional and business services added 1,400 jobs while state government chipped in with 1,000.
The state’s loss of 300 jobs led the eight job-loser states in the sense of the smallest percentage drop. New Mexico’s 6.6% unemployment rate is fourth among the states after the District of Columbia, West Virginia and Nevada. Only one New Mexico county, Luna, has an unemployment rate over ten percent. The Luna rate is 15.6%.
Oil production is the state’s job problem these days with aggregate mining and logging sector down 6,400 jobs or about 25% year-over-year. This reverses the situation of the last ten years or so where oil and gas production has provided nearly all the job growth.

Monday, May 23, 2016

NM Metro Areas: Successful Aging

A recent column discussed the characteristics of New Mexico's metro areas as places for older people. The information came from a report by the Milken Foundation of Los Angeles. The locations for the data about state cities is:
From the Milken institute

Large cities Madison #1

#100 Stockton-Lodi, CA

Albuquerque #67

Small Cities
#1 Iowa City #252 Vineland/Bridgeton, NJ

Santa Fe #76

Las Cruces #140

Farmington #169

Friday, May 20, 2016

State Job Picture Nets Nothing. Abq improves 1%.

Some economic improvement seems to be happening in Albuquerque, meaning Bernalillo County. In April, as compared to April 2015, the labor force was up 2,500. Employment was up 5,000 and unemployment was down 2,400. The employment gain is about 1.3%, so hold the excitement. The net is a 4.9% unemployment rate for April.
The Department of Workforce Solutions released the job report this afternoon.
The state is another story. Basically, oil offset welfare for a net of nothing.
The wage job total dropped 300, April to April. Since all these ever so precise numbers come from estimates, the total could just as well have been a 300-job increase. The Bureau of Labor Statistics review of statistically significant job happenings during the month left out New Mexico. The NM DWS gets the numbers from the BLS.
Mining, meaning, mostly, oil and gas has lost a quarter of its jobs since April 2015. More are coming (or going). A potash mine is closing in Carlsbad. Intrepid Potash is putting its West facility into what it calls “a care and maintenance mode” in July and laying off 300 employees. Intrepid got 42% of its potash production from the West facility in 2015, the company said.
The sectors with larger job increases were education and health services, plus 6,900 jobs or 5.2%, and professional and business services, plus 1,400 jobs or 1.4%.
A surprise was the 1,600 one-month job loss in leisure and hospitality. DWS’ explanation was the changes appear “to be due to atypical seasonal changes in several subsector areas in the industry.” If you understand that, let me know.
Another DWS explanatory winner was about mining, “Growth fell negative in March 2015 and has declined in every month since January 2015, except the last two months.”

Metro Home Sales Continued to Increase During April

Since January the monthly number of closed sales of single family detached homes in metro Albuquerque has increased 336 units, or 57%. During April there were 930 homes with sales closed. It was 594 in January.
The big leap was between February and March. The pace of increase slowed considerably in April with sales up 34 units or 4% over March. Still, April closed sales were a nice 10.2% over the 844 closed sales in April 2015.
Homes with the sale closing during April sold in an average of 57 days. That was 13 days faster than during April 2015.
Pending sales—1,211 in April—were 3% over March and 2.6% above the 1,180 pending sales in April 2015.
The 1,650 new listings during April were up slightly—23 units—from March and down 1.6% from April 2015. The 3,275 listings active during April were down 17% from a year ago. Active listings are down a third since the recent peak of 5,043 in August 2014.
Both Median and average prices increased during April over the previous year. The $185,000 median price was 4.6% above the $177,500 during April 2015. The average price, $217,616, increased 3.5% or about $7,000 from April 2015, but dropped $535 from March.