ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – If anyone in the metro area needs a job, the City of Albuquerque said thousands of new jobs have popped up in just the last month.
In one month, there has been more job growth than the metro area has seen in more than five years. More people means more spending, and city officials hope it also means an economy on the rise.
“There’s a lot of opportunities out here in Albuquerque,” explained Gilbert Montaño, Mayor Richard J. Berry’s Chief of Staff.
From May to June in 2015, the metro has seen nearly 8,300 new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics. It’s the largest growth month to month, since rebounding from the recession in 2009.
“That speaks volumes,” said Montaño. “People are building, people are shopping, people have high employment rates, and the economy is doing better certainly.”
Montaño said this means good things for the metro in the long run. “It means that companies are opening their doors and not closing them anymore,” he explained.
Albuquerque saw people line up in sleeping bags with the opening of the H&M clothing store last year at Coronado Center Mall.
Other businesses are expanding in Albuquerque, ready to open new locations and hire new employees. Molina Healthcare just finished moving in hundreds of employees to a downtown location.
“When people have a safe, secure job, they’re spending money out to dinner and entertainment venues,” Montaño said.
That also shows in the numbers. Money from the gross receipts tax is up 5.5 percent from May to June, which, Montaño said, translates to almost $15 million the city brought in from people spending.
Extra money can be used in the community for things like public safety. However, city officials said that extra cushion is good to have in a changing economy.
“Just because we have extra, it does not mean that we want to go out and spend it unnecessarily,” said Montaño.
Montaño said some of those new jobs are likely in construction and retail positions. However, it’s hard for the city to track, because the stats come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Albuquerque and the rest of New Mexico still lag behind when compared to neighboring states. New Mexico’s unemployment rate is still much higher than the national average.