Wages down for local residents

Posted at: 12/13/2012 5:37 PM
Updated at: 12/13/2012 6:19 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Did you make as much money this year as you did last year? If you didn't, you have plenty of company.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is out with a snapshot of New Mexico's economy, showing that on the average private sector workers in the Albuquerque metro area are making less money now than they did a year ago.

A lot of cities are in the same boat. The average Albuquerque private sector worker made $722 a week this fall, down from $742 last year - a drop of 2.75 percent. That puts Albuquerque in 74th place on the Labor Department's list of 102 American cities.

It's been a rough year for a lot of people. "I'm disabled right now," said Angel Saavedra. "I'm not working. My income is going down, little by little."

"There's less employment," said Steve Hannigan. "You just feel like you're getting squeezed from the top to the bottom. the wages are going down and there's less work."

"I made less money," said Leroy Salazar. "I didn't work. I've been unemployed for a year and a half now."

Governor Susana Martinez said the solution is to lower taxes on employers. For years they've been higher in New Mexico than in our neighboring states.

"It is very hard for people to stay here, feed their families, go to work and have a place to work that is a good paying job, unless we have a level playing field. We need to do it immediately," Martinez said.

Look for Martinez to push hard for tax reform legislation when the legislature convenes in January.

Workers in Palm Bay - Melbourne, Florida had the biggest increase in earnings, a whopping 22 percent. At the bottom of the barrel is Sarasota, Florida, with a decrease of more than 11 percent.