State in slog toward economic recovery

ALBUQUERQUE — New Mexico remains in a slog toward economic recovery.

The Albuquerque Journal reports that economic data for the second half of 2011 shows New Mexico's job creation numbers are troubling but may be improving.

The state's personal income numbers are encouraging, unless you count business owners' income. And unemployment numbers have been a moving target.

The data reported by the newspaper and compiled by the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research suggest that the state's economy is improving.

Unemployment averaged 8.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011, 7.2 percent in the fourth quarter and 7.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012.

In Curry County, unemployment ranged between 4.6 and 5.4 percent, while the range in Roosevelt County was 4.6 and 5.7 percent.

Chase Gentry, executive director for the Clovis Industrial Development Corp., said the data for Curry County seemed to follow the same patterns as the state, though the area historically falls a few points below the statewide unemployment average due to the agriculture industry and Cannon Air Force Base.

New industries like Beauty Health and Science Innovations — a cosmetic company starting up in Clovis — and the Tres Amigas power superstation set for groundbreaking in the summer, will eventually make a mark. But Gentry doesn't think much impact will be made until the third quarter at the earliest.

"I don't think they'll have a significant impact over the next few months," Gentry said. "The rampup of BHSI is going to be over a 24-month period, so I don't see them impacting the data that much over a few months."

Unemployment rates

Curry County

Jan. 2011: 5.3

Feb. 2011: 5.4

March 2011: 4.9

April 2011: 4.5

May 2011: 4.5

June 2011: 5.7

July 2011: 5.4

Aug. 2011: 5.4

Sept. 2011: 5.2

Oct. 2011: 4.9

Nov. 2011: 4.5

Dec. 2011: 4.6

Jan. 2012: 5.0

Feb. 2012: 5.4

March 2012*: 4.6

Roosevelt County

Jan. 2011: 5.8

Feb. 2011: 5.2

March 2011: 4.6

April 2011: 4.5

May 2011: 4.5

June 2011: 6.3

July 2011: 6.0

Aug. 2011: 5.8

Sept. 2011: 5.0

Oct. 2011: 4.8

Nov. 2011: 4.2

Dec. 2011: 4.6

Jan. 2012: 5.4

Feb. 2012: 5.7

March 2012*: 4.6

Statewide

Jan. 2011: 7.9

Feb. 2011: 7.9

March 2011: 7.5

April 2011: 7.2

May 2011: 7.2

June 2011: 8.2

July 2011: 8.0

Aug. 2011: 7.6

Sept. 2011: 7.2

Oct. 2011: 7.0

Nov. 2011: 6.6

Dec. 2011: 6.6

Jan. 2012: 7.3

Feb. 2012: 7.8

March 2012*: 7.0

* preliminary

Source: N.M. Department of Workforce Solutions

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