Friday, May 25, 2018

Albuquerque Continues to Lead Metro Job Production

Together New Mexico’s three smaller metro areas lost wage 800 jobs in the year between April 2017 and April 2018. The Department of Workforce Solutions released the detailed job report today in the Labor Market Review newsletter. The job totals are not seasonally adjusted.
Las Cruces was the leader, down 1,400 jobs, or 1.9%. Farmington chipped in with another 200 lost jobs, or 0.2%. Santa Fe made up almost half the loses with an increase over the year of 700 jobs or 1.1%
Albuquerque remained the metro jobs producer with an increase of 4,900 jobs, or 1.2%.
As reported last week, the state’s wage job total grew 1.2%, or 10,000 jobs. The 1.2% job increase tied three Deep-Sough states for 24th place nationally—Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. Our neighbors continued in the top ten. Utah led with a 3.4% job increase from April 2017 to April 2018. Texas was fourth, Colorado, sixth, Arizona, seventh.
The Las Cruces year-over-year loses were 86% public sector, or 1,200 jobs. Of those 1,200, state government lost 1,000 with local and federal government each dropping 100. Leisure and hospitality lost 400 Las Cruces jobs; education and health services gained 400.
Given that, statewide, the state government education sector lost 1,500 jobs, a guess is that the Las Cruces loses were at New Mexico State University.
In metro Albuquerque, the only sector of size to lose jobs was education and health services, down 1,600 to 63,300, keeping it the metro area’s largest job sector and 200 jobs ahead of professional and business services which gained 3,000 to total 63,100.
In Santa Fe, only leisure and hospitality, up 700 jobs, added more than 200 jobs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

April Home Sales Up 10%

Metro Albuquerque sales of single family detached homes continue to show a year-over-year increase. The other news is that interest rates are going up, which is expected to slow sales nationally. How much slowing? No idea.
In Albuquerque closed sales for April were 1,089 homes, a 10.3%, or 102 home, growth from April 2017 but just a tiny 23 home increase from 1,066 closed sales during March.
Pending sales for April—1,358 homes—were up a nice 15.6% from 1,175 in April 2017, but actually dropped six units from March.
The homes sold in an average of 47 days, four days faster than during April 2017 and six days faster than during March.
On a year-over-year comparison, prices continued the upward march. The median sales price during April was $205,000, a 5.1% hike, or $10,000, from March 2017. The $205,000 median price was $7,000 ahead of March.
The story of the April average prices, $242,037, is more complex. The average price was up from April 2017 by 2.5%, or $5,799. But it dropped a tiny bit—$495—from $242,532 in March.
The inventory of homes for sale, 2,808 during April, increased 168 homes from March, but was down 17.1% from 3,389 during April 2018.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Metro Albuquerque, Eddy and Lea Counties Dominate Job Growth

New Mexico’s year-over-year wage job growth kicked back up in April with a gain of 10,100, or 1.2%. The gain was 8,900 in the year from March 2017 to March 2018.
All the growth was in the private sector; government lost a net of 500 jobs, driven by 1,500 fewer jobs in state government education, i.e., higher education.
The state government payroll has declined by more than 2,100 jobs since the budget year that ended June 30, 2011. Gov. Susana Martinez took office in January 2011, Charles Sallee, deputy director of the Legislative Finance Committee, told the Tax Research Institute conference May 10. “The size of state government has continued to shrink,” Sallee said. There have been “some efficiencies,” he said, but some critical areas such as corrections and child protective services are simply short of people with turnover rates exceeding 20% and vacancy rates of more than 10%.
The state’s unemployment rate dropped another 0.2 percentage points for the April-to-April year. This rate ties West Virginia for second highest among the states. Washington, D.C., with 5.6% unemployment, is just ahead. Alaska remains first with 7.3% unemployment. For months and months New Mexico has stood along with the second highest rate. New Mexico was one of four states with a lower unemployment for the period.
With 3,900 new wage jobs, professional and business services led the job production from April 2017 to April 2018. The past month produced 2,800 jobs.
Construction added 3,100 jobs during the year with 2,000 jobs in leisure and hospitality and 1,700 in financial activities. Even manufacturing, a perennial loser, added 1,000 jobs. Mining added 200.
Education and health services, which led the state economy as Medicaid expanded, lost 700 jobs. The other year-over-year losers are the information sector, with 1,400 fewer jobs and retail trade, down 1,200.
Metro Albuquerque and the rural counties continue to dominate job growth. The latest metro figures are for the year from March 2017 to March 2018.
The state added 8,900 jobs for the period. Metro Albuquerque provided 5,300 of the jobs, or 60%. The other three metro areas together grew a net of 600 jobs. That means the 26 rural counties added 4,200 jobs.
Metro Las Cruces (Dona Ana County) lost 1,600 jobs. Santa Fe added 600 jobs with 400 more jobs in Farmington, which has been on a long downer.
Professional and business services led the Albuquerque growth 2,200 new jobs over the year. Government added 700 jobs including 600 in state government.
Santa Fe added 500 jobs in leisure and hospitality and 400 in professional and business services. Just one private sector sector, transportation, added jobs (+100) in Las Cruces. State government lost 900 jobs.
Solid year-over-year growth continued in the Eddy and Lea counties, accounting for around two-thirds of the rural job growth for the period.