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ABQ stagnant in job growth

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Albuquerque area businesses report they employed 4,100 fewer people in January 2014 than they employed a year earlier, according to the Department of Workforce Solutions monthly Labor Market Review.

The department reported earlier this month that a survey of households found that the metropolitan statistical area added 1,100 jobs. The MSA includes Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance counties.

Both the household and the business surveys agreed that New Mexico lost 3,700 jobs in the 12-month period.

Though the employer survey is usually more accurate, both surveys show that Albuquerque’s labor market is stagnating, said economist Gerry Bradley of New Mexico Voices for Children.

“The two surveys can easily diverge,” Bradley said. “Both surveys just tell me there isn’t much, if anything going on, any growth in employment, and therefore no growth in personal income. It’s kind of a grim story.”

Normally, January employment data are available in February, but reporting by federal and state labor departments has been slowed by efforts to improve jobs statistics by incorporating better data into previous labor estimates, a process undertaken every several months that is known as benchmarking.

Employment also declined year over year in the Farmington MSA by 700 jobs. The Santa Fe area added 300 jobs, and the Las Cruces MSA grew by 200 jobs, according to the monthly report.

Albuquerque-area private sector employment dropped 3,500 jobs year over year.

Professional and business services employment declined for the fourth consecutive month in January. Leisure and hospitality employment was down 3.4 percent from January 2013, manufacturing employment dropped 5.2 percent, and construction employment showed a 0.5 percent decline.

Government employment dropped 600 jobs year over year. While state government added 500 jobs, federal employment was down 700 jobs and local government shed 400 jobs.

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