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New Mexico Job Climate Stinks

New Mexico Job Climate Stinks

Job Climate Is Eighth-Worst in Nation

Here’s a ranking that shouldn’t surprise anyone who has been following New Mexico’s economy for the last nine years: New Mexico is the eighth-worst state in the nation for jobs.

That’s the latest ranking from WalletHub, the personal finance website that ranks just about everything.

New Mexico ranked dead last among the states when it came to job opportunities and the unemployment rate. The state came in 38th for median annual income, and 34th in terms of monthly average starting salary.

And while it’s not a good thing to be last in terms of jobs, it’s even worse to be surrounded by states that are doing much better. Colorado ranked second; Texas, 11th; Utah, 13th; and Arizona, 19th.

The top states for jobs were Washington, Colorado, New Hampshire, South Dakota and New Jersey.

The bottom five states were West Virginia, which was 50th, Louisiana, Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi.

New Mexico has yet to recover all the jobs it lost during the recession. In the year that ended April 30, the state added 7,400 jobs for a 0.9 percent growth rate.

But the job growth was swamped by those in surrounding states, with the exception of Oklahoma, and New Mexico still had the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 6.7 percent.

New Mexico’s private sector added 9,000 jobs over the year. Only three industry sectors – oil and gas, manufacturing and information – lost jobs. Six others gained jobs and one had no change.

The government sector, which accounts for 23 percent of all non-farm payroll jobs in the state, declined by 1,600 jobs during the year.

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Dennis Domrzalski is managing editor of ABQ Free Press. Reach him at dennis@freeabq.com.

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