Workforce Profile

New Mexico has the second highest percentage of Jobs in High-tech Industries in the U.S. According to the 2017 State New Economy Index New Mexico is ranked eleventh in business churning.

At the end of 2017 the total labor force was 937,403 with 51,696 total unemployed workers.

New Mexico is a young state. Over one-fifth of the state’s population is under the age of 18, a greater share than the U.S. and most neighboring states.

In the 2017 State New Economy Index, New Mexico ranked seventh in patents - specifically, the number of independent inventor patents as a share of the adult population.

In 2016 New Mexico ranked ninth in number of technical workers as a percent of all occupations and fourth in the number of engineers as a percent of all occupations according to the National Science Foundation.

From 2010 to 2017, the total population grew by 1.4% and is projected to grow to 2.2 million by 2020, according to the UNM BBER Population Projections. There are nearly 98,000 students enrolled in grades 9 through 12 in the state, and 126,000 enrolled in post-secondary institutions here, ensuring a pipeline of new workers.

New Mexico’s average annual wage statewide is $44,840. 

The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) publishes the monthly Labor Market Review, which provides an excellent snapshot of the state’s workforce, and the annual State of the Workforce Report.  DWS provides a wealth of data and publications and these are described on the More Data page. 

Educational attainment is a key site selection factor for businesses considering a new location. New Mexico has a high proportion of residents in the prime workforce age group (25 to 44 years) with graduate or professional degrees, due in part to the national labs and research universities located here. The bar chart below shows educational attainment for population 25 to 44 years for selected states in 2016.

new mexico educational attainment compared to other states
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2012-2016 five year estimates


By statute, New Mexico is officially a bilingual state, and one out of four adults speaks Spanish at home. In 2017, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that about 35% of New Mexico’s population 5 years and over speaks a language other than English compared to the national average of 21%. This cultural diversity provides an opportunity for businesses, especially in the Back Office and Technical Support sector, seeking employees who speak Spanish or a Native language.

chart showing language spoken at home by the population 5 and above
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey, 2012-2016 five year estimates

Please find downloadable data on educational attainment and the labor force for the state, MSAs, and counties where available.

Local Area Unemployment Statistics for New Mexico, MSAs, and Counties 1990-2017 

New Mexico Industry and Occupational Employment Projections

Educational Attainment by Employment Status of the Population 25 to 64 years for New Mexico and Counties 

Additional workforce data for each county can be found in our County Profiles.