The job market in the Southwest is looking much better than it did a year ago, with Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada all showing employment growth year-over-year when comparing June 2015 to June 2014 according to numbers provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nevada has shown the most growth, increasing jobs by 3.4 percent over-the-year. Arizona increased by 2.1 percent over the same period and New Mexico increased by a more modest 1.6 percent. The construction sector contributed to gains in all three states, with Nevada leading the way.


The unemployment rate in Nevada fell to 6.9 percent according to the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, or DETR. This is the first time in seven years that the unemployment rate has been below 7 percent.

“I’m encouraged by the continued positive trends evident in the Silver State’s labor market,” said Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The construction industry has seen an increase of 11.1 percent when compared to June of 2014, with a total of 69,800 jobs as of June of this year, up 7,000 jobs year-over-year. Specialty trade contractors saw the largest increase over that time period, increasing by 12.9 percent, according to the DETR.

Month-over-month, construction employment in Nevada increased by about 1,800 jobs.

Construction jobs still only make up about 5 percent of the total job market in Nevada though as opposed to before the recession when construction jobs accounted for about 11 percent of the total jobs.


Arizona’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 5.9 percent in June, which is up a tenth of percent from May according to numbers provided by the Arizona Department of Administration. However, the unemployment in June of 2014 was 6.8 percent, so the over-the-year has shown a decrease of .9 percent.

The construction sector was one of only three sectors that gained jobs over that time period, adding 900 jobs in the month of June, according to the Arizona Department of Administration.

Construction has done well over the year in general, adding 3,100 jobs over-the-year.

Buildings and specialty trades both saw a 3.5 percent increase over-the-year, whereas heavy construction dropped by 4.2 percent over that same period.

New Mexico

The  seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for New Mexico increased from 6.2 percent to 6.4 percent in June when compared to may according to numbers provided by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. The over-the-year unemployment has decreased though, as it was 6.6 percent a year ago.

Year-over-year, June 2015 to June 2014, the state added a total of 12,700 jobs according to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

The construction sector was one of the six industries that posted over-the-month losses, shedding 200 jobs from May to June. Those 200 jobs represent a .5 percent decrease overall.

The average annual salary for construction in New Mexico was $41,300 as of June 2015, which is down $1,400 over-the-year and down $200 over-the-month when compared to May.