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New Mexico Jobs Gains Biggest In A Decade

New Mexico Jobs Gains Biggest In A Decade

The number of jobs added was the highest year-over-year monthly increase in 11 years. The last time the state added that many jobs was in December of 2006 when the year-over-year increase totaled 19,500 jobs.

New Mexico might have finally snapped out of its economic stagnation.

In the year that ended June 30, the state added 19,300 jobs for a 2.3 percent growth rate, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The number of jobs added was the highest year-over-year monthly increase in 11 years. The last time the state added that many jobs was in December of 2006 when the year-over-year increase totaled 19,500 jobs.

While the jobs news was the best in years, the state still has yet to regain all the jobs it lost during the recession. As of June 30, the state had 838,100 non-farm payroll jobs, or 1.4 percent below the high of 849,900 in February of 2008.

The jobs gains for New Mexico, which where were based on non-seasonally adjusted figures, were widespread with nine industry sectors gaining jobs and two losing them.

Manufacturing continued its long decline. The sector lost 800 jobs for a negative 3 percent growth rate.

And the oil and gas sector lost 200 jobs for a 1.1 percent decline. The good news is that the massive job losses that the sector has seen since oil prices crashed in 2014 have slowed.

In terms of numbers, the leisure and hospitality sector added the most jobs at 7,500. But the downside of that is that the sector has the lowest paying jobs of any sector in the state.

The construction sector picked up 3,500 jobs, education and health services added 3,200 and professional and business services – one of the highest paying sectors – added 2,600 jobs.

The good jobs news extended to the Albuquerque metro area, which added 7,600 jobs over the year for a 2 percent growth rate. And the sector gains and losses mirrored those at the state level.

In Albuquerque, eight sectors added jobs and two lost them. The biggest loser was manufacturing, which shed 1,300 jobs for an 8 percent decline. The professional and business services sector shrank by 600 jobs, or 1 percent.

And while New Mexico’s job growth numbers were the best in more than a decade, they were mostly dwarfed by the gains in other states.

Arizona added 62,000 jobs over the year, while Colorado added 60,100.

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

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