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Eight for Eight — Again

There’s just no stopping the American Southwest’s jobs machine.

Between April and May, Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and California each saw employment grow, with an average increase of 0.30 percent.

Between May and June, the region’s jobs machine’s wasn’t quite as impressive. But all eight stats posted positive performances once again, with an average expansion of 0.24 percent.

Same old, same old — Utah stayed the the superstar. Not only was its growth tops, but the Beehive State remained supremely adept at matching workers and employers. Joblessness there was 2.4 percent, more than a full point below the national mark.

California? It’s still the laggard. Yes, employment there increased, but by a region-last 0.04 percent. And the once-Golden State had the second-worst jobless rate in the nation, at 4.6 percent.

Two final notes. Colorado’s growth rate has declined for three months in row — something to keep an eye on. And to the south, the Permian Basin continues to power New Mexico’s employment surge. Data from the state’s labor bureaucracy show that from May 2022 to May 2023, the mining-and-logging sector boosted hiring by 16.3 percent. (Coming in second was manufacturing of non-durable goods, far behind at 7.6 percent.) Drill, baby, drill!

By D. Dowd Muska

Dowd brings nearly 30 years of research and writing experience to the Institute. A veteran of several think tanks, he is an expert on government at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels.

Raised on an apple orchard in the Connecticut River Valley, D. Dowd Muska is a researcher, writer, editor, and commentator. His focus is the nexus of fiscal policy, economic development, and technology.

Mr. Muska is the author of numerous policy studies, and his writing has appeared in newspapers throughout the nation, including the Las Vegas Review-Journal, The Detroit News, the Orlando Sentinel, the Cape Cod Times, the Santa Fe New Mexican, the Hartford Courant, the Waco Tribune-Herald, the Albuquerque Journal, the New Haven Register, and The Oklahoman. A graduate of The George Washington University, he lives in the Albuquerque metro area, but has started (very) early planning for a relocation to the Sierra Blanca in Lincoln County, New Mexico. He recently launched the Substack platform No Dowd About It.

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