New Mexico outpaced the national job growth rate on a per capita basis based on data recently posted by the U.S. Department of Labor and the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
The state’s total nonagricultural employment over the year rose by 20,100 jobs, or 2.4 percent compared to a national job growth rate of 1.4 percent, Workforce Solutions officials said in a news release.
The private sector accounted for a majority of the gains, 17,700 jobs, or 2.4 percent, which placed New Mexico at No. 6 in growth jointly with Alabama, Arizona, and Texas for over the year not seasonally adjusted private sector growth, up from 2.0 percent in August.
Idaho, Nevada, and Utah jointly posted the highest rate at 3.2 percent growth, while the lowest rate was in Oklahoma with 0.1 percent, according to the release.
“We continue to see strong job growth numbers. More companies and job creators are taking notice of our business-friendly policies and environment here in New Mexico,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said in a statement.
“We are building a 21st century economy — one with diverse and robust revenue streams that keep New Mexicans employed,” she said. “A strong economy means a better environment for New Mexico families. I want to see further improvement and I’m excited by the work to come.”
Bill McCamley, NMDWS secretary, said the state is building more roads and bridges, growing areas like film with targeted tax incentives, and opening up more jobs in areas like healthcare and STEM.
The leisure and hospitality sectors posted the largest increase in employment, with a gain of 7,200 jobs, or 7.3 percent, Workforce Solutions said.
Other sectors with significant increases were construction industry — up 4,700 jobs, or 10 percent — and professional and business services, which increased by 2,400 jobs or 2.2 percent, officials said.