New Mexico wages far below average
Posted at: 09/27/2013 5:35 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Shrunken paychecks are nothing new to New Mexico workers. Most of us didn’t come here for the fabulous wages, right? But this is downright painful. The average New Mexico worker isn’t only making less money than the average American makes, but our paychecks actually shrank last year.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average American worker was pulling in $989 a week in the twelve months that ended March 31. The average New Mexico working stiff was making just $778 a week. That’s $211 less every week, about $800 less every month, and $9,600 less when you look at the whole year!
“In my personal situation I can’t say that I feel like I’m underpaid exactly,” said Brandon Fetters, who works in the technology industry. “I think it’s sad that we’re that low. We would like to see some improvements there. Maybe that would mean bringing in some bigger companies.”
Easier said than done. Social worker Judith Perry said New Mexico has some massive problems, even though she doesn’t feel that she is underpaid.
“We have a lack of meaningful educational opportunities, especially given how challenging it is for some folks to take on student loans,” Perry said. “We’re just so rural and frontier-like. People in remote places can’t take advantage of things that others can.”
Adding to the pain, the state’s average weekly wage dropped by .6 percent in the twelve month period. In that same time the national average wage rose by the same .6 percent.