New Mexico's economy added 10,800 jobs in the year that ended Dec. 31, 2017, for a 1.2 percent growth rate.
That growth rate wasn't great, but it was on par with the growth rates in Arizona and Oklahoma.
And, New Mexico inched a bit closer to finally recovering all the jobs it lost during the recession. In other words, the state has almost as many jobs as it did 10 years ago. But there's a problem with that in terms of the overall strength of the economy. Only two of 11 industry sectors have passed their pre-recession jobs levels. Nine of those sectors still haven't recovered all the jobs they lost during the recession.
The graph above charts New Mexico's jobs picture since the beginning of 2007. The state lost 52,300 jobs from February 2008 to September 2010. All those jobs were lost under then-Gov. Bill Richardson's second term in office. Gov. Susana Martinez took office on Jan. 1, 2011.
Non-farm jobs in New Mexico peaked at 849,900 in February of 2008. As of December 2017, the state had 846,800 jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In the year that ended Dec. 31, 2017, five industry sectors lost jobs. They were Mining, Manufacturing, Information, Other Services and Government.
The six sectors that added jobs were Construction; Trade, Transportation & Utilities; Financial Activities; Professional & Business Services; Education & Health Services; and Leisure & Hospitality.
A closer look
New Mexico lost 52,300 jobs between February 2008 and September of 2010. And while the state has regained all but 3,100 of those jobs, a closer look at the data shows that only two industry sectors – Educational and Health Services, and Leisure and Hospitality – are responsible for the vast majority of those jobs gains. It means that the state's economy has yet to experience a broad-based recovery.
And the two sectors that have surpassed their pre-recession jobs levels don't have the highest paying jobs. Leisure and Hospitality has the lowest paying jobs of any sector, and the Education and Health sector is loaded with lowers-paying jobs like home healthcare workers.
Here's a look at pre-recession jobs levels and what they are now: