Sunday, July 23, 2017

Jobs Grow 2.3%; Some Statistical Shifting Involved

New Mexico added 19,300 (seasonally unadjusted) wage jobs, or 2.3%, between June 2016 and June 2017, an amazing performance for a state that has produced year-over-year job growth—when there was job growth—of more like 0.2% for a long time.
Though New Mexico’s unemployment rate dropped, the state’s 6.4% rate remained second nationally to Alaska’s 6.8%. Our two tenths of a point decline in the unemployment rate from May was considered statistically significant by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reports the numbers. The state’s increase in wage jobs from June 2016 was not considered statistically significant.
The Department of Workforce Solutions released the June job summary last Friday, July 21. DWS said, “The spike in growth is partly due to shifts in seasonality in government employment.” How much of the growth came from the statistical shuffling, DWS did not say. We will learn more come Friday the 28th when DWS unveils details in the Labor Market Review newsletter.
The private sector added 18,900 jobs, a performance DWS called “the largest gain in over a decade.” The size of this sudden improvement makes it statistically suspicious. Not that DWS is cooking the books, but I wonder about things under the surface.
The leisure and hospitality segment (mostly tourism) added 7,500 jobs over the year including 4,300 between May and June. The annual gain led all sectors. The 7.7% year-over-year gain appears a little too good to be true, as does the state’s job jump. Revisions always follow. The question will be how much revision.
For the year from June 2015 to June 2016, the state added 14,000 jobs including 5,300 in leisure and hospitality. The 2015-2016 gain was driven by education and health services (EHS) (Medicaid) which gained 9,800 jobs.
The EHS growth has dropped. The sector “only” added 3,200 jobs during the most recent year.
The 8.1% year-over-year gain in construction jobs led the sectors in percentage improvement. Construction added 3,500 jobs.
Additional good news comes with the addition of 2,600 jobs in the professional and business services sector and with the 200 of only 200 jobs, year-over-year in mining.
Manufacturing supplied bad news with the loss of 800 jobs.

No comments: