2012 to 2013: Not appreciably different

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By Harold Morgan

The newest numbers reporting changes in the New Mexico economy start with 5,000, drop to 1,000, jump to 3,000 and return to 1,000.
The things that changed come with six or seven digits, meaning that the changes aren’t much. We know that, you say. The changes are positive, which is something.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released the figures Feb. 28. The report provides the annual averages for 2012 and 2013 of the employment status of the civilian non-institutional population 16 years of age and over. This group is what we consider when talking about employment. Under 16 doesn’t count.
Non-institutional means not in jail or some other institution. Civilian means non-military, which leaves out more New Mexicans than we might think. One Internet source indicated 13,000 service personnel in the state.
The big number — that 5,000 — is the change in the potential working population from 2012 to 2013. It grew from 1.59 million to 1.595 million. Our population grew by a smaller figure — 1,747 — during the year to become 2,083,540 in July 2013, says the Census Bureau. The numbers come from different sources, so speculating on the reason for the difference between population and worker group growth likely is just that — peculation.

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