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Metro New Mexico offers a highly trained workforce at a reasonable cost, due to lower wage rates, workforce incentives, and other reduced employer costs.  Also, the region's high quality of life and low cost of living outweighs wage scale considerations for many educated workers.

Many of the top business sectors in the region provide well-established and well-resepcted education and training programs, some of which work in collaboration with the larger universities and colleges. In addition, there are a number of organizations and services that provide training for the talented pool of entrepreneurs that continues to grow in New Mexico.

Workforce at a Glance


Labor Force Size, Albuquerque MSA

433,300 (Dec 2017)

Labor Force Size, New Mexico

931,600 (Dec 2017)

Unemployment rate, Albuquerque MSA

5.1% (Dec 2017)

Unemployed, Albuquerque MSA

21,900 (Dec 2017)

Source: Local Area Unemployment Statistics program in conjunction with US Bureau of Labor Statistics (not seasonally adjusted)



  • New Mexico is the 16th fastest growing state in the U.S., with a steady increase in population from 1.8 million in 2000 to a population of 2.05 million in 2010
  • Metro New Mexico’s 4 counties account for approximately 43% of the state's population
  • About 60% of the population is between 20 and 64 years of age

Labor Force

  • The Albuquerque metro has a favorable ratio of residents in the key working-age group of 20-34 years. Estimates show that 21.7% of the population is in this key age bracket, compared to the national average of 20.4%
  • New Mexico ranks 16th in the country in the percentage of scientists and engineers in the labor force (2010 State New Economy Index)
  • New Mexico has the 2nd highest concentration of high-tech jobs as a share of total employment in the nation (2010 State New Economy Index)


  • Metro New Mexico ranks consistently high in the percentage of college graduates per capita
  • 29% percent  the metro’s population 25 or older have a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • 86% of persons 25 years old and over have a high school degree or higher


  • New Mexico is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual state
  • Approximately 35.5% of the population is bilingual of which the majority, 78%, speak Spanish/English


Workforce Training and Incentives

Workforce Training Center
Located in the north I-25 area of Albuquerque, the Workforce Training Center, operated by Central New Mexico Community College, provides rapid, flexible training for local companies anywhere, anytime. The 62,500-square-foot WTC contracts to teach specialized training classes to employees and clients at company sites or at the WTC. Since its founding in 1998, the WTC has provided customized training and business consulting to well over 100 companies and organizations in New Mexico. The WTC offers a high-bay area for large construction equipment, 6 computer labs, general office space, and has 18 classrooms available to rent for everything from board meetings to industry conferences. Through collaboration and expertise, the WTC can design programs that will meet a company’s specific needs.

Call center training is also available through both the WTC and at New Mexico Highlands University campus in Rio Rancho.

Job Training Incentive Program

One of the strongest workforce training programs in the nation, this highly flexible incentive reimburses economic-based companies (manufacturers and non-retail service providers with 50% or more revenue from out of state) for a portion of wages paid to new hires in newly created jobs for up to six months. The program also pays for qualified custom classroom training costs and on-the-job training provided by New Mexico educational institutions.

Step Up Program

Step Up, a program administered under New Mexico’s Job Training Incentive Program, reimburses qualified companies in rural New Mexico for 50% of the cost to provide training for existing employees up to $2,000 per employee. Training to upgrade existing skills or provide new skills to current employees is eligible for Step Up. Eligible training costs include tuition, registration fees, certification and licensing fees, instructional materials, supplies, outside instructor fees, and travel expenses.

Learn more about JTIP, Step Up and additional incentives


Albuquerque Economic Development Village of Los Lunas sea logo2 Estancia Valley Economic Development Mid-Region Council of Governments
New Mexico Gas Company PNM Belen Economic Development Corporation NAIOP

Contact Info

Ingenuity Central
809 Copper Avenue NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
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Devoted to engendering, supporting and nurturing breakthrough thinking. A collaborative effort of regional partners working together to foster business growth in central New Mexico.
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