Indicators of Southern New Mexico’s Economy

The Las Cruces Economic Dashboard for the first quarter of 2023 showed a 5.4% growth in employment, adding 1,009 jobs in various sectors such as leisure and hospitality, construction and mining, and education and health services. The government employment rate remained unchanged, but two sectors lost jobs – the information sector and trade and transport and utilities. In comparison to last year, the first quarter’s employment growth was solid with most sectors experiencing an increase in employment, except for construction and mining and financial activities.

The unemployment rate in Las Cruces rose slightly from 3.9% in December to 4.0% in March, while the unemployment rate in southern New Mexico remained unchanged. The average hourly wage for Las Cruces was $26.99 in March, compared to $21 in February 2020, early in the pandemic. The Port of Santa Teresa’s total trade declined to $2 billion in March, with a 15.9% decline in imports and a 13.7% decline in exports from the fourth quarter of 2022.

The economy of southern New Mexico is heavily dependent on various commodities such as oil, natural gas, copper, silver, and potash. However, the prices of potash have fallen since spring 2022 after Russia sanctioned Ukraine, citing a 12.6% decrease in the first quarter of 2023 and another 10.4% fall in April.

Note that Las Cruces is excluded from southern New Mexico’s data to provide accurate unemployment measurements outside of the region’s largest population centers. The economic indicators for Southern New Mexico are released quarterly, and any queries and suggestions can be directed to Aparna Jayashankar ( Lastly, revisions may have caused discrepancies in the previously published figures.

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