Education and health jobs fastest-growing private industry sector in New Mexico

New Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in October 2016, unchanged from September but up from 6.5 percent a year ago. The national unemployment rate was 4.9 percent, down from 5.0 percent in both September 2016 and October 2015.
Total nonfarm payroll employment contracted by 2,900 jobs, or 0.3 percent, between October 2015 and October 2016. The private sector was down 1,700 jobs, representing a decline of 0.3 percent. The goods-producing industries were down 8,000 jobs, or 8.2 percent. The private service-providing industries added 6,300 jobs, representing a gain of 1.2 percent. Six industries added jobs and seven reported losses.
Education and health services, the largest and fastest-growing private industry sector, was up 6,200 jobs, or 4.6 percent, down from last month’s revised increase of 6,700 jobs. Professional and business services registered an over-the-year increase of 1,700 jobs, or 1.7 percent. The industry experienced a slowdown in growth from September’s rate of 2.7 percent; nevertheless, it has reported gains of 1,400 jobs or above for the last seven months. Employment in leisure and hospitality was up 1,000 jobs, or 1.1 percent. Employment in each of financial activities (up 1.5 percent) and miscellaneous other services (up 1.8 percent) increased by 500 jobs. Transportation, warehousing, and utilities reported a welcome reversal in fortunes after 13 consecutive months of losses. The industry was up 400 jobs, or 1.7 percent.
Over-the-year job losses in mining have remained in the range of 6,200 to 7,000 jobs since hitting a series-low loss of 7,600 jobs in February 2016. Employment in the industry decreased by 6,500 jobs, or 26.5 percent, in October. Employment in retail trade fell from 93,300 in July to 91,200 in September, and then rose slightly to 91,400 in October. This, coupled with a comparatively healthy upward trend in 2015, has resulted in large and increasing over-the-year losses in the last three months, ending with a loss of 2,800 jobs, or 3.0 percent, in October. Manufacturing was down 1,400 jobs, or 5.0 percent. Wholesale trade employment contracted by 900 jobs, or 4.2 percent. Information declined by 300 jobs, or 2.4 percent. Employment in construction edged down 100 jobs, or 0.2 percent.
Government employment was down 1,200 jobs, or 0.6 percent. Losses fell mainly within local government (down 1,300 jobs, or 1.2 percent) and, specifically, in local government education (down 1,500 jobs, or 2.7 percent), which shed jobs in 57 months of the last six years. Federal government was down 100 jobs, or 0.3 percent. State government posted a gain of 200 jobs, or 0.3 percent, despite state government education reporting a loss of 200 jobs, or 0.7 percent.
Detailed analysis will be provided in the Labor Market Review scheduled for release on November 30.