SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A surge in construction jobs continues in New Mexico thanks in large part to the oil and gas boom in the southeastern corner of the state.
A new report by the Associated General Contractors of America found that New Mexico added 4,300 construction jobs in a one-year period starting in August 2018 to reach 51,100 construction jobs, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
The group's analysis of U.S. Department of Labor statistics found that top construction job-growth states all have strong mining/petroleum sectors.
North Dakota had the top year-over-year percentage job growth in August followed by Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and Alaska.
Nearly all the job growth in New Mexico is in support of the oil and gas boom in Lea and Eddy counties and their hub cities, Hobbs and Carlsbad.
Carlsbad has built 962 single-family homes since 2012 in a city with a population of about 29,000. Another 3,317 homes are planned. Apartment complexes also have been built, with a combined 823 units constructed and another 2,913 planned, according to City of Carlsbad statistics.
"We're getting homes in the hundreds," said John Waters, executive director of Carlsbad Department of Development, a nonprofit economic development organization. "We need homes in the thousands. Apartment complexes have 100-people waiting lists on all of them."
Ten hotels are under construction or planned. Many oil workers live in the existing hotel rooms.
"We have five good-size hotels under construction," Waters said. "We've been working with about a dozen (hotel developers) over the last few months."
Albuquerque, the largest city in New Mexico, has six hotels under construction.
Petroleum companies Chevron Corp., XTO Energy and Occidental Petroleum are currently building regional offices, and WPX Energy and Concho Resources already have expanded in Carlsbad, some in the 150,000- to 200,000-square-foot range, Waters said.
In Lea County, Cactus Oilfield Services and Cudd Energy Services have built offices recently, and Devon Energy is renovating office space in Hobbs, said Missi Currier, CEO of the Economic Development Corp. of Lea County.
Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.santafenewmexican.com