Local lawmaker trying to help unemployed

Posted at: 09/24/2013 7:02 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

New Mexico is slowly seeing jobs come back after the recession, but there are still a lot of people struggling to find work.

Around 400 people showed up at a job fair on Albuquerque’s west side today.

They went booth to booth, hoping someone would give them a chance.

“I've applied to about 40 - 50 jobs so far and nothing has hit,” said Kimberly Dorado.

She recently graduated from UNM and hasn’t found work.

"I lost my job the end of 2011 and I’ve just had a hard time finding the right position," said 68-year-old Jayne Muse.

"I applied, I probably sent about 50 applications already and haven't found anything yet.

I haven't even gotten a call back," said unemployed veteran Pascual Maestas.

Freshman State Senator Jacob Candelaria put on the job fair at the West Mesa Community Center.

“Every politician will talk about how important jobs are but I think a real public servant steps up and does something about it,” said Candelaria.

The picture in Albuquerque seems to be looking better, but keep in mind Intel will soon cut 400 jobs.

“If there's ever a wakeup call for us to rethink how we're doing economic development in New Mexico is that the fact that we are last in the country in getting out of this recession," said Candelaria.

The state’s latest unemployment rate is 6.7%.

But factor in those who’ve left the workforce after not finding a job and those having to settle for part-time work, and the unemployment rate shoots up to 14.1%, according the NM Dept. of Workforce Solutions.

"Even though we passed enormous tax cuts for corporations last session that companies are still leaving this state," said Candelaria.

Not true, says Governor Susana Martinez’s office.

The new corporate tax rate went into effect two months ago.

Martinez’s office says change won’t happen overnight, saying:

At the end of the day, the jobs package helps put New Mexico on a far more competitive playing field with our neighbors.

It lowers the tax rate on job creators to 5.9% and gives us a fighting chance to attract business HERE, instead of to Arizona or Texas.

This is a long-term and on-going process, and anybody who thinks this is a quick fix doesn't understand economic development.  New Mexico has gained 6,000 jobs over a one-year period, with positive job growth every month since March.

The governor’s office adds they’ve already seen some job leads.

As for Candelaria, he will introduce a bill in the upcoming session that would increase the state’s “working families tax credit” from 10% to 15%.

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