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SPPI Job Index: Dark Clouds Are Gathering

Today’s fresh employment numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics are concerning.

SPPI tracks month-to-month job growth/decline in the American Southwest’s eight states, and today’s fresh numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics have us concerned.

September saw California, New Mexico, and Oklahoma lose employment for the second month in a row. Colorado’s job count declined as well. And the growth trends in Arizona, Utah, and Texas have slowed considerably.

Nevada, though, remained a bright spot. Its rate of job growth has actually picked up in the last few months — welcome news for an economy that was brutalized by lockdown mandates. (The Silver State’s unemployment rate is one spot behind Illinois for the worst in the nation.)

With disastrous decisions being made at the national level — e.g., more spending/borrowing, anti-energy measures, and further brinksmanship with Russia — it is more important than ever for policymakers at the local and state levels in the Southwest to position their communities to weather the storm that’s coming.

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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