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Report: N.M. will be short 183,000 workers in 2020

Copyright © 2013 Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico is expected to have 335,000 new job openings in 2020 but only 152,000 workers with the job skills and education required to fill them, according to the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce.

The United States should create 55 million new job openings but will be short 5 million workers to fill them, the center reported.

“If the U.S. Congress can deal with budgetary challenges, we are on schedule for recovery,” said Anthony P. Carnevale, director of the center, a nonprofit research and policy institute. “But we will still face a major shortage of college-educated workers, especially as baby boomers retire.”


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The center reported that 2010 employment in New Mexico totaled 855,820 jobs. Employment is projected to grow to 1,007,800 jobs in 2020, an increase of almost 152,000 jobs. However, New Mexico employers will need a total of 335,000 new workers, leaving 183,000 slots unfilled.

The study projects employment will grow nationally from 140.6 million in 2010 to 164.6 million in 2020.

Of the 335,000 jobs expected to be available in 2020 in New Mexico, 127,000 are forecast to require no more than a high school diploma, 119,000 will require at least some college or an associate’s degree, 52,000 will require a bachelor’s degree, and 37,000 will require a master’s degree or better.

Job growth will be fastest in the mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction industry. Employment in these areas is projected to grow from 21,500 jobs in 2010 to 29,650 jobs in 2020, a 38 percent growth rate.

Other fast-growing industries in New Mexico are projected to be health care and social assistance at a 30 percent growth rate; education services, 29 percent growth rate; real estate and rental and leasing, 25 percent; and finance and insurance, 25 percent.

Information is forecast to be the slowest growing industry, at 4 percent.

The fastest growing occupations are expected to be health care support, with a 35 percent growth rate; professional and technical health care jobs, at 28 percent; education, with a 23 percent growth rate; and food and personal services, 22 percent.

What the center called blue-collar jobs will grow at the slowest rate, 13 percent.

Nationwide, 65 percent of job vacancies will require some postsecondary education and training, up from 28 percent in 1973. Based on the current levels of educational attainment, all states but New Hampshire, Utah and Wisconsin are projected to have a shortage of workers with the required level of education.

Adrienne Lu of contributed to this report.