Legislative council says adding 160,000 jobs gets NM even
To bounce back from the recession, New Mexico must add more than 160,000 jobs in the next 10 years, state legislators were told Monday.
The Interim Jobs Council, an arm the Legislature's committee system, released the statistical breakdown. It said hitting the jobs target would return New Mexico to "where we were in 2007."
The report said this job-creation goal was "doable" if the state follows strategies that were outlined in general terms.
It called for "clarity and consensus on the predicament" and an agenda for creating jobs.
One plank in the council's platform suggested melding the state's efforts in education, tourism, workforce development and job creation. But how these large, separate agencies would work in unison to add jobs was not specified.
The report also suggested that legislators could take certain steps on their own to help create jobs, though at least one of these would simply add seasonal government positions.
That proposal was to fund an expanded summer youth employment program.
Another recommendation could mean additional paperwork for the state's colleges and universities.
It proposed a memorial -- action by legislators that has no force of law -- instructing colleges and universities to provide annual reports on hiring, salaries and job offers by major field of study.
Another possibility suggested in the report was to fund an online tourism training program to help along entrepreneurs.
The suggestions followed a recent report by the state Economic Development Department that said New Mexico had added about 10,000 private jobs for the year ending in August, but lost 3,100 government jobs in that span.
Most of the public jobs were at the federal level, said Jon Barela, secretary of economic development.
Barela said the government cuts were noteworthy because New Mexico is the state most dependent on federal spending.