2,100 Oil Patch Jobs Disappeared in 2016
New Mexico’s unemployment rate increased to 6.8 percent in February—the highest in the nation— but there are signs people are more hopeful about the economy.
The state added 3,900 jobs in the year that ended Feb. 28, for a 0.5 percent growth rate. And the civilian labor force—people with jobs and those looking for work—grew by 7,546 people, or 1 percent. That usually means that people feel more confident about the economy.
Over the year, six industry sectors lost jobs, four added jobs and one had no change.
The biggest loser was the oil and gas industry, which lost 2,100 jobs, followed by manufacturing, which was down 900 jobs. As reported previously, the state government relies heavily on these sectors.
The education and health services sector added 3,000 jobs, while the leisure and hospitality industry grew by 3,100 jobs.
But with the exception of Oklahoma, New Mexico’s job growth was minuscule compared to other states in the region. Arizona added 54,600 jobs for a 2.2 percent growth rate, and Colorado grew by 48,000 jobs, or 1.9 percent.
Oklahoma lost 6,200 jobs for a negative growth rate of 0.4 percent.
Meanwhile, over the year, the Albuquerque area’s economy grew by 200 jobs, or 0.1 percent. The manufacturing sector lost 1,200 jobs for a minus 0.7 percent growth rate.
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