The Stats on New Mexico’s Government Employment


Ashley Leach, an economist with the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, has a useful — if incomplete — article in the latest edition of the bureaucracy’s Labor Market Review.

In 2015, Leach writes, among the states, only Wyoming and Alaska had greater shares of their workforces in “public service.” (See above.) But there’s a mighty large caveat worth noting. Employees at Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories are classified as “private,” and thus, thousands of workers who are truly on the payroll of the federal government weren’t counted.

In 2013, the Mercatus Center included federal contractors in its analysis of the real private sector in the 50 states. It found an all-in public-sector share 31.9 percent for New Mexico — making our workforce the most taxpayer-dependent in the nation.

Looking at local and state employment, Leach finds that New Mexico ranks “fifth in the nation” for the share of total jobs. Both categories hit their absolute peaks in 2009. Since then, local employment has fallen by just 3.4 percent. State employment declined by a mere 5.7 percent. Not much right-sizing there.

Finally, in seven counties — Mora, De Baca, Socorro, Hidalgo, Catron, Rio Arriba, and Harding — government employment accounts for more than 40 percent of all jobs. In contrast, New Mexico’s oil country — Lea and Eddy Counties — has the lowest share of total government employment.

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3 Replies to “The Stats on New Mexico’s Government Employment”

  1. I believe the RGF has previously stated that the national average public sector labor force is 17 of every 100 jobs, while NM has 25 of every 100 jobs in the public sector (45% more than the national average). Using the Mercatus figure of 31.9% for NM, the stat becomes a staggering 87% higher than the national average .

  2. * Study this story for the good news bad news angle!
    * NM will suffer greatly when the federal government crashes!
    * OK, the good news is we have loads of high paying Labs work.
    * The bad news is the feds can NOT continue to borrow & spend!
    * The hidden bad news is that the NM Democrats refuse & fail to fix it!
    * The have not & will not do what is needed to make us a good jobs place!
    * Without PRIVATE sector job grown (massive), NM is sunk!
    * I’ll vote for & support the candidate who’s most aggressive!
    * Aggressive in terms of SLASHING State employment!
    * Slashing bureaucratic boondoggles & red tape.
    * Slashing State contributions to State employee retirement!
    * Do NOT simply agree & like, print a copy our and hand out!
    * Do whatever it takes to FLIP the NM Senate in 2016!
    * Volunteer, donate (generously), walk, talk, call!!!

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