NM loses nearly 5,000 jobs in month of June

Posted at: 07/18/2014 5:29 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

June was an absolutely horrible month for New Mexico’s economy. The U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday that our state lost nearly 5,000 jobs in the 30 days between May and July.

The majority of the lost jobs are government jobs, mainly federal government jobs. If there is any silver lining to this deep, dark cloud it’s that the private sector overall lost only a very few jobs. It’s the public sector where the jobs are disappearing.

Construction jobs remained steady in June, with nearly 40,000 employed in those good-paying jobs that are a welcome sign of a recovering economy, but transportation-trade-utility jobs were down by about 1,000. Offsetting that were increases in health services and education jobs. Still, the economy is pretty weak and sick here. Just ask anybody looking for work.

“As of this morning I got laid off because of that,” said Robert Garcia, a plumber on his way to check for job openings at the Workforce Connections office on Mountain and Edith NE. “You’ve got to have hope. I’m hoping that there’s something there and hoping I can start first thing Monday morning!”

“I’ve been putting in resumes in several different areas such as labor, landscaping, customer service,” said Matthew Romero, who’s been out of work for the past three months. “It’s just not picking up, no matter how much you tweak your resume, no matter how much experience you have.”

In the old misery-loves-company department, Georgia leads the nation in jobs lost in June with 9,500. West Virginia and Washington follow closely, losing 9,100 apiece. Alaska saw 5,900 jobs go away in June, and then it’s good old New Mexico with 4,700 jobs down the drain.

In the twelve months from June 2013 through June of this year New Mexico shows only a very small job loss – about 400 jobs. Meanwhile our state unemployment rate remains unchanged at 6.5 percent. How is that possible with all of the jobs going away? Well, it doesn’t measure people who have given up looking for work, and it doesn’t count people who have moved to other states to find employment.