Data: New Mexico has highest job numbers in state history

[anvplayer video=”5181825″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The Department of Workforce Solutions announced New Mexico has the highest job numbers in its history.

KOB 4 spoke with an official from the state Economic Development Department who says there’s been several efforts all working together to create this job growth. 

“New Mexico now has more jobs today than at any point in its history,” said John Clark, a deputy cabinet secretary of the New Mexico Development Department. 

New data released from the Department of Workforce Solutions shows New Mexico added just over 20,000 jobs from May 2022 to May 2023.  

Clark says New Mexico is seeing the highest number of jobs in history now. 

“Recent data that just came out actually shows that we crossed over the 869,000 jobs threshold, and this comes after four months of really strong job growth in New Mexico,” said Clark. 

Clark says while there are more jobs than ever, there’s also more people working right now than in recent years. 

“It is the three and a half percent unemployment rate we have right now is essentially full employment. You can’t ever get to 0%, this is what economists would typically consider to be full employment,” said Clark.  

According to Federal Reserve economic data, this time last year the state unemployment rate was 3.9%. In 2021, it was 7.4% and in 2019 – before the pandemic – it was 4.9%. 

Clark says the job growth is statewide. 

“One really important thing to point out is that historically, there’s often been an urban and rural divide for job growth across the state, seeing growth in the urban areas, and often seeing losses in the rural areas. But what we’re actually seeing now is very strong job growth across the state, across all 33 counties,” Clark said. 

Clark says the growth has been a multi-pronged approach of policies from the governor, funding opportunities for businesses, and education; whether in trades or universities. 

“Now what we’re seeing more and more high-quality jobs coming to New Mexico, which pay better, but also require greater skill sets,” he said. 

But we’re all used to seeing the help wanted signs at restaurants or for similar positions. So how does that fit in with this job growth data? 

“We are experiencing some slower service and some of the local shops that we visit. But the benefit is that New Mexicans are now experiencing a higher standard of living, they have more money to go out and do things,” said Clark. “It’s an indication that now more people are getting those high quality jobs, they’re getting those jobs that pay really well, and provide benefits for them and for their families.”

Clark says the jobs counted include any position that has a person working 32 hours or more. That can include some part-time positions if you work that amount of hours or more.