According to a new Pew Charitable Trusts research, New Mexico once again is first in another bad category — this time local government job loss.
As the economy continues to lag following the pandemic lockdowns, most in the private sectors are regaining employees. However, in the public sector, not counting in education, New Mexico trails all the rest of the U.S. in hiring and keeping local government employees.
According to Pew, “Surprisingly, employment in this sector has dipped slightly even as the recovery lengthens, down 0.6% since December.” The report continues, “By comparison, private employment is up 3.4% since that month, though still not fully recovered from its losses since the pandemic struck earlier in 2020.”
“Fourteen states recorded declines of more than 5% over that period. New Mexico experienced the sharpest loss (-8.5%),” the group wrote. New Mexico was only bested by states, including New Hampshire and Connecticut at -7.6%, Louisiana at -7.5%, and Illinois at -6.9%.
The Pew report noted, “Even governments with adequate budgets to hire are having trouble filling positions because of pandemic-related closures or recruitment hurdles. Some of the toughest jobs to fill are in health care, corrections, and highway maintenance.”
“[B]oth the public and private sectors suffered steep employment declines shortly after the pandemic began disrupting daily life and the economy.”
New Mexico led all other states, excluding the District of Columbia, in overall unemployment at a rate of 4.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).