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Economy bumping along

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By Harold Morgon

News, good, bad and of no significance, came in the latest job numbers from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics and the state’s Department of Workforce Solutions.
The insignificance in the changes from January 2011 to January 2012 was both in terms of size—the changes being small—and statistics—the changes also being too small to matter.
For example, we added all of 300 people to the labor force between December and January, the BLS said, bringing the January labor force total to 920,800 on a seasonally unadjusted basis. The change is both small and statistically insignificant.
That the labor force grew, however slightly, was a switch, a bit of good news.
A piece of very nice news came from DWS. All four of the state’s metro areas added employment in January, year over year, something that so rare as to be almost forgotten. During 2011, only Santa Fe added jobs.
The four-county Albuquerque metro gained employment, up 1,892. (Note that employment is a slightly different concept from wage jobs. Confusing.) Santa Fe was up 1,496, with Farmington adding 1,207 (a healthy 2.4 percent jump). Las Cruces grew by 352.


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