Thu April 21, 2011
Labor Statistics Actually Show Mixed Job Numbers in New Mexico
By Jim Williams
Albuquerque, NM – But while the drop is certainly good news for New Mexico, other data may tell a different story. The Labor Department report indicates the number of employed in the state rose by 2-thousand, it also indicates the number of unemployed fell by 5-thousand.
Cheryl Abbott is Regional Economist for the US Bureau of Labor Statistics in Dallas. "So some of those people who were unemployed a month ago did find work, but others it appear just dropped out of the labor force," said Abbott. "Now we don't know if they dropped out of the labor force because they were discouraged or because they just decided they don't want to work anymore."
Abbott says in addition to discouragement, there are a number of other reasons people might decide not to keep looking for work, including caring for a sick family member, or going back to school. She says the overall unemployment drop data should be taken for what they are: one month of numbers. "If we'd seen a one-to-one match on decline in unemployment versus increase in employment, it would have been a much better picture," said Abbott.
Other labor data in the report indicate the mining and logging industries have seen a boom in recent months in New Mexico.