Federal hiring freeze could kill hundreds of New Mexico jobs

Donald Trump
FILE - In this Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Windham High School, in Windham, N.H. Trump is focusing his economic message on boosting jobs and making the country more competitive on a global stage by cutting business taxes, reducing regulations and increasing domestic energy production. With a speech Monday, Aug. 8, to the prestigious Detroit Economic Club, Trump seeks to reset his campaign and delve into a subject - the economy - that is seen as one of his strengths. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico officials say a government hiring freeze announced by President Donald Trump could put more than 300 advertised federal jobs in the state at risk. Many of the jobs are high-paying professional positions.

The New Mexican reports that Trump’s decision could hit hard in New Mexico, the state where the unemployment rate is the nation’s second worst.

A University of New Mexico economist says the damage to the state’s economy would probably be minimal, but the state’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Tom Udall called the president’s hiring freeze a “reckless, blunt decree.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, however, said in an email that the hiring freeze will help the Trump administration assess the federal work force’s strengths and weaknesses.