After nearly a full ten years, New Mexico’s unemployment rate is beginning to drop.
In 2009, New Mexico’s unemployment rate was above 7% and then went to 8% and beyond at the start of 2010.
In February, 2018 New Mexico’s unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.
A year ago, according to the state Department of Workforce Solutions, the state’s unemployment rate was 6.3 percent a year ago.
Between March 2017 and March 2018, total nonagricultural payroll employment in New Mexico grew by 8,900 jobs, or 1.1 percent.
The state’s unemployment rate for March, 2018 dipped to 5.6 percent which is the lowest unemployment level since December, 2008.
Construction continued its upward climb, with an employment increase of 6.8 percent.
For March of this year, New Mexico was one of only 4 states to see an unemployment decrease.
Notwithstanding the decline in unemployment, according to federal statistics, New Mexico is still ranked as the second-worst in the nation in unemployment.
ALBUQUERQUE’S PROJECTED JOB GROWTH
During the last eight years, Albuquerque has fallen to the bottom and in many cases dead last of every meaningful ranking in the country, including economy, jobs, crime, education, real estate, desirability, and traffic.
Even though Albuquerque is the largest city economy in the State, New Mexico is number two in unemployment and number one in children living in poverty.
It has been reported that Albuquerque lost 14,900 jobs during the last 10 years, which is roughly 4 jobs a day.
Mid 2016, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) at the University of New Mexico (UNM) did a report on Albuquerque’s economy and outlook.
BBER used local statistics and national forecasts of our state and local economy to come up with a job history and job projections.
A portion of the University’s BBER 2016 report and forecasting model was contained in a section of the City of Albuquerque’s Proposed Budget for Fiscal Year 2017-2018.
Most of the data has remained constant with no dramatic changes over the last year, with the exception perhaps being and uptick in construction and the service industries.
(See City of Albuquerque “Proposed Budget Fiscal Year 2018, pages 46, 47, 48, 49 atwww.cabq.gov/dfa/budget/annual-budget)
According to the BBER report, the Albuquerque economy declined in sync with the national economy but lagged in its recovery.
Total employment in the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) increased in the third quarter of 2012 but this gain was due to a change in processing by the department of Workforce Solutions and not in actual employment.
The 4th quarter of 2014 and all following quarters through the 1st quarter of 2016 show increases with growth.
The growth in total employment in FY/2014 was 0.4% and FY/2015 growth in total employment was 1.4% and with one estimated quarter FY/2016 was expected at 1.7%.
The Albuquerque economy lost over 27,000 jobs from FY/2008 to FY/2012 a loss of 7% of total employment.
About 13,000 jobs were added in FY/2013 to FY/2016.
In FY/17 employment was expected to increase 1.5% and remain near this level for the remainder of the forecast.
According to the BBER report, Albuquerque’s economy does not approach FY/2008 employment levels until FY/2019.
Government employment limits growth, with private sector employment growth exceeding total employment growth from FY/12 through FY/21.
City hall’s Economic Development Department need pay far more attention to Albuquerque’s growth industries if the city is going to have any chance of turning our economy around.
Our next Governor, who will be elected in November, with a little luck will be dealing with an improving economy and a surplus in tax revenues thanks to oil and gas production.
Notwithstanding, come January 1, 2019 with the swearing in of a new Governor, the Governor and our new Albuquerque Mayor need to work together as much as possible and come up with a viable solution to diversifying our economy with less reliance on federal government spending.