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Let's talk about government jobs and the labor shortage

Screenshot_State of New Mexico Job openings_120621
State of New Mexico
A screenshot showing the state has more than 1,300 open jobs posted online on 12/6/21.

Let’s Talk New Mexico 12/9 8am: If you listen to KUNM regularly you may have heard the City of Albuquerque advertising that they’re hiring. Santa Fe is putting the word out on social media, and they’re taking it a step further with a rapid hiring event this week where interviews and offers will be made on the spot. High vacancy rates in state agencies made news over the last couple weeks when officials told lawmakers at budget hearings that they’re understaffed and having trouble hiring. This makes us wonder, can government function properly when there are so many open positions?

We’ll discuss the unique position of New Mexico, a state that relies heavily on government employment, during this pandemic economy. And we’ll ask state and local policy makers and researchers what we can do to compete while other Southwestern cities and states seem to be doing better. We also invite you to join the conversation.

Did you grow up in New Mexico with the idea that government work was a path to a comfortable middle-class life? Do you feel differently now? Is government work on your radar as you consider new job opportunities? Have you run into difficulties or delays in your own life because you couldn't get the help you needed because of an understaffed government?

Share your story by emailing LetsTalk@kunm.org, tweet #letstalkNM or call in live during the show.


  • Jon Courtney, Legislative Finance Committee Deputy Director for Program Evaluators
  • Connie Derr, Council 18 Director for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees
  • Melanie Lopez, Albuquerque Human Resources Manager of Employment, Compensation & Classification
  • Ricky Serna, Department of Workforce Solutions Acting Secretary, State Personnel Office Acting Director
  • Alan Webber, Santa Fe Mayor



This segment is part of our #YourNMGov project, a collaboration between KUNM radio and New Mexico PBS. Support for public media provided by the Thornburg Foundation.

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Kaveh Mowahed is a reporter with KUNM who follows government, public health and housing. Send story ideas to kaveh@kunm.org.
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