Friday, July 29, 2016

All Four NM Metro Areas Add June Jobs

All four New Mexico metro areas added jobs in June, something of a rarity. The Department of Workforce Solutions released the numbers today in its Labor Market Review newsletter.
The metro areas accounted for 11,000 new wage jobs (not seasonally adjusted) in the year from June 2015 to June 2016. Rural counties generated 3,000 new wage jobs, year over year, to produce the statewide total of 14,000 jobs. The statewide job growth was a 1.7%, good for a heady 25th place among state job growth rates. New Mexico tied with Ohio. One can just imagine Susana Martinez and John Kasich jointly touting their state’s “success.”
Metro Albuquerque added 9,100 jobs, a 2.4% increase, with 1,000 in Santa Fe, 800 in Las Cruces and 100 in Farmington.
In Albuquerque, education and health services (i.e., mostly Medicaid) showed 3,500 new wage jobs, year over year. Professional and business services, full of basic industry types such as computer consultants, showed 2,500 new jobs, followed by leisure and hospitality with 1,900 jobs. The three sectors produced 7,900 jobs, over the year, 87% of metro Albuquerque’s new jobs.
Education and health services had 800 new jobs in Santa Fe over the year with another 500 from leisure and hospitality (tourism). Together the two sectors found 1,300 new jobs, year over year, meaning that all other economic activity in the City Different combined to lose 300 jobs. DWS reminded us that the City of Santa Fe will lay off 40 employees to closed a $12 million (or so) budget hole. The job losers, all classified as 90-day emergency hires, have been employed for up to eight years.
In Las Cruces, education and health services dominated with 1,000 new jobs, 200 more than the metro’s 800 new jobs.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Seasonally Adjust the Job Numbers and Nice Increase Drops 45%

No real new news came from the June jobs release this afternoon from the Department Workforce Solutions. The year over year (June 2015 to June 2016) wage job increase figure did improve to 14,000, almost five times the 2,900 new jobs reported from May 2015 to May 2016. So I guess that’s news. The performance is not considered statistically significant by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which also released figures today.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the BLS said, the year over year increase as 7,700, or 0.93%. Seasonally adjusted, the state has added 2,000 jobs since April. Not much.
At 6.2%, the state’s June unemployment rate remains statistically significantly higher than the national rate of 4.9%.
The same-old-same-old is that 70% of the increase, or 9,800 jobs, came from the education and health services sector, which mostly means Medicaid.
Another 5,300 jobs came from leisure and hospitality, which is mostly tourism and is having a good year, according to the Tourism Department. The sector’s 5.9% increase was the largest, DWS said, since sector sectors began in 1990.
Mining (mostly oil and gas production) and logging added 400 jobs during May. The year over year loss was 5,900 jobs, the smallest since November 2015. This report is consistent with national reports that oil production firms are adding a few jobs.
Between May and June unemployment grew another 332 people, a 13.2% jump, and at 9.7% ranked third highest in the state. The Farmington unemployment rate is 9.1%.
Professional and business services, home to landscape architects and technical consultants, added 3,900 jobs over the year, a nice 3.8% increase. The PBS sector reclaimed the 100,000-job level in April.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

El Paso Job Growth Highest Since Recession

From Southwest Economy, a quarterly publication of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.)
"El Paso boomed in 2015, posting its highest rate of job growth since before the Great Recession while the rest of the state slowed markedly. El Paso continues to outperform the state but has decelerated somewhat, with employment declines in the goods-producing sector out- weighed by job creation in the services sector.
"The El Paso Business-Cycle Index expanded an an- nualized 1.8 percent in April. Job creation and a decline in the unemployment rate have contributed to business-cycle gains.
"El Paso employment grew at an annualized monthly rate of 2.1 percent in April. Job growth was mixed across industries. Leisure and hospitality gained the most at 14.1 percent. Trade, transportation and utilities continued to be fast growing, rising 11 percent. The increases may be linked to strong manufacturing activity south of the Rio Grande.
"—Adapted from El Paso Economic Indicators, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, May 2016"

Monday, July 11, 2016

Average Sale Period Drops to 45 Days

The circle is virtuous in the world residential real estate in metro Albuquerque, according to the June Market Report released today by the Greater Albuquerque Association of Realtors (
At least life is good to the real estate sales people and the sellers. For buyers, perhaps less so. If one wants a home, one has to pay.
The supply is low with 3,553 homes available. At the present sales pace, it would take 4.17 months to sell the available homes. An “average market is traditionally a six-month supply,” the GAAR report says.
Those homes are selling quickly with an average number of days on the market at 45, down from 49 in May and 57 in April. In January 2015, it took an average of 81 days for a home to sell.
The sale of 1,076 homes closed during June, up 9% from both May 2016 and June 2015. The average price of those homes was $235,110, up almost $22,000 from June 2014. The average price during June was pushed by the sale of four homes in the $1 million or more price group. The median price was $199,000 and increase of $6,000, or 3%, from May and a jump of $14,000 from April. The median price was 4.3% more than the $190,788 seen in June 2015.
A note of caution appears in the drop of the number of pending sales from 1,215 in May to 1,173 in June.
Through the first six months of 2016, the sale has closed on 5,636 homes, an 11% increase from the same period in 2015.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Taos, "A Living Symbol." Of What? Notes from NM Quarterly

The notes that follow were taken by Harold Morgan, copying from the summer 1951 issue of New Mexico Quarterly. At the Harwood Gallery (The Gallery is in Taos. The exhibit runs May 22 to September 11.) exhibit about Mabel Dodge Luhan, a page from the Quarterly was open. For some reason a phrase stood out—“a living symbol.” The obvious question was, “of what?”
The staff at the Center for Southwest Research at the University of New Mexico’s Zimmerman Library was very helpful in pulling the issue from their basement, which is their procedure. The actual issue does not leave the Center. The alleged communications staffer at Harwood was no help.
The copy on the page proved to be an editor’s note from George Arms, who said,
“In this issue the Quarterly is happy to present a section on Taos by writers of Taos. For the world Taos has become a living symbol, and it is rewarding to have this symbol explored in these pages.”
The contributors were Mabel Dodge Luhan, Frieda Lawrence (widow of D.H. Lawrence and still living in Taos in 1951), Alexandra Fechin (wife of Nicolai, Russian artist, whose home is now the Taos Art Museum), Frank Waters (novelist), Andrew Dasburg (painter), Kenneth Adams (painter), Spud Johnson, Laura Gilpin (photographer), Carl Van Vechten (photographer), John Candelario (photographer) and Henry Prior Clark.
Luhan, the first of the contributors, wrote, “People used to come to Taos almost as though they had to.
“Taos brings out the particularity in people. This is the most interesting place in the world, I think.
“There is no standardization here, no social structure. (HM Note: Check with Taos Pueblo on this point.)
“Taos does things to people.
“…mysterious enlightenment of our Taos ambiente” (atmosphere or environment).

The Alexandra Fechin article was, “European Aspects of Cosmopolitan Taos.”

Other visitors to Luhan in Taos included Thornton Wilder (playwright and novelist), Willa Cather (novelist, “Death Comes for the Archibishop”), Leopold Stokowski and Georgia O’Keefe.

The Taos Society of Artists, a sort of a trade group, was founded in 1915. Wikipedia calls it a commercial cooperative. Luhan came to Taos in 1918.