ALBUQUERQUE – Many New Mexico lawmakers say they want to build up the state government workforce, but the vacancy rate in the state’s executive branch has clung to about 22% even after pay raises and increased recruitment efforts.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that state agencies are competing with strong demand in the private sector for workers, especially in southeastern New Mexico where an oil boom is generating high-paying jobs.
Officials say low pay in some state departments and the reputation of state government itself after years of belt-tightening also are factors.
State Personnel Director Pamela Coleman says she’s optimistic the vacancy rate will fall as the new administration’s priorities take hold.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham took office on Jan. 1, when the vacancy rate in state government was also about 22%.