How about a quick Monday morning review of recent important headlines? First, we have yet another year of government growth at the state level:
Passed: Nearly $4.7 billion budget providing more than 6 percent spending increase on public education and general government. More than $30 million for initiatives of legislators and governor. Financing for about $470 million in capital improvements statewide. Allow state permanent fund investments in fine art and musical instruments.
Failed: Constitutional amendment to impose limits on state government spending increases.
This is followed by an equally impressive expansion of government at the local level:
The proposal from Mayor Martin Chávez calls for nearly $447 million in general-fund spending during the fiscal year that begins July 1. It covers the basic operations of most city departments.
The budget would be an increase of about 11 percent, compared with this year’s estimated spending. Inflation during the past year has been 3 percent, based on the most recent figures for the Consumer Price Index. The budget growth is largely due to an increase in gross-receipts tax revenue.
And then the news regarding the unemployment rate:
Albuquerque’s jobless rate jumped to 5.4 percent in February, up from January’s rate of 4.9 percent. Boyd cautioned that the new model may account for some of that big jump.
“Caution should be used when interpreting large month-to-month movements in the labor force, with more emphasis given to over-the-year changes and long-term trends,” Boyd said.
Albuquerque saw expansion in eight of its 12 major industry groups, with the government sector seeing the most growth.
Since last year at this time, the Albuquerque area has added 7,100 jobs, for a 1.9 percent growth rate.
The Las Cruces area’s jobless rate rose to 6.1 percent in February, up from 5.6 percent in January.
The Santa Fe area saw its unemployment rate jump to 4.5 percent in February, up from January’s rate of 4.1 percent.
Oh yeah, and we find out despite all of the increases in government jobs and increased education spending our children (subscription) still score below the national average.