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Employment strong in Las Cruces


“Employment remains really strong in the City of Las Cruces,” city economist Monica Torres, Ph.D., told Mayor Ken Miyagishima and members of the Las Cruces City Council at their Sept. 12 work session.

Unemployment was 4.7 percent in the city in July, Torres said, down slightly from the month before. 2,274 were actively looking for work in July in the city, she said.

The July unemployment rate statewide was 4.5 percent, according to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (NMDWS), which was down from 4.9 percent in June and down from seven percent in July 2021. The national unemployment rate was 3.5 percent in July 2022, down from 3.6 percent the month before and down from 5.4 percent in July 2021, NMDWS said.

City employment grew 3.3 percent (1,445 workers) in July 2022 as compared to previous years, Torres said. The city’s leisure and hospitality sectors showed the strongest annual growth, she said, increasing by 900 jobs, or 11.5 percent. Education and health service grew 3.3 percent, Torres said, increasing by about 500 jobs.

City gross receipts tax revenue increased $982,000 (12 percent) in July to $10.7 million, she said. The city had 77 new business registrations in August 2022, an increase of 10 as compared to August 2021.

Total cannabis sales, combining medical and recreational use, in the city reached $3.3 million in August, Torres said.

The city, like the rest of the nation, is experiencing high inflation, she said. The national inflation rate was at its highest level in 40 years in June, Torres said, and down slightly in July. Inflation has increased in part because of the pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine, she said.

“The Federal Reserve is working toward controlling prices,” Torres said. “It’s one of their priorities.”

Las Cruces City Council, economy