How do Albuquerque’s wages rank nationally? A look at the numbers

Data Reporting

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The most recent estimates from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the average hourly wage in Albuquerque was $24.80 as of May 2020. The average annual salary in the city was $51,590. The estimates reveal that New Mexico’s average hourly wage across all industries was lower than in 35 other states.


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The pay estimates are made from survey data collected each year from businesses across the nation. The May 2020 estimates — the most recent available — show that New Mexico’s average pay was just below Florida and a few spots below Texas, which had an average wage of $25.19 per hour.

In Albuquerque, the highest-paid workers, based on average hourly pay, were obstetricians and gynecologists, the data shows. The few Albuquerque residents employed in these medical niches earned an average of $140.74 per hour. That translates to average annual earnings of $292,740.

A range of other medical specializations also ranked among Albuquerque’s top earners. Architectural and engineering managers ranked highly too, earning an average $86.81 per hour. Lawyers came in a bit lower, earning an average $55.30 per hour.


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With an average hourly wage of $23.87, New Mexico ranks below average when all occupations are taken into account. Data: BLS. App users click here to view chart.


Office and administrative support jobs made up the largest number of employees in Albuquerque, at more than 56,000 employed. Their average pay was $18.48 per hour, according to the estimates. Sales jobs and food service work also supported a large number of Albuquerque residents — each industry employed more than 33,000 people, the data shows.

Food prep and service jobs ranked low on the earnings list, with an average pay of only $11.58 per hour (including tips) in Albuquerque. That’s 53% lower than the average for all occupations in the city. Waiters and waitresses, with an average pay rate of $10 per hour including tips, were among the lowest paid in the city. Only ushers, lobby attendants, and ticket takers earned less, at $9.96 per hour. Fast food counter workers and cooks, on average, earned slightly more, but still less than $11 per hour.

Across the nation, the District of Columbia had the highest average pay for food prep and serving jobs, at $20.15 per hour. New Mexico’s foodservice pay ranked low in comparison to most states. New Mexico was in the bottom 25% of states in terms of average hourly pay for the industry, tying with Texas at $11.53 per hour including tips.


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New Mexico wasn’t at the bottom of the list, but average wages for food service workers in the state were below the national average of $13.21 per hour. Data: BLS. App users click here to view chart.


In Santa Fe, food prep and serving jobs came with slightly higher pay than in Albuquerque. The average fast food cook earned $13.31 per hour in Santa Fe, and waiters and waitresses earned an average of $11.79 per hour including tips.

Recently, restaurants across the nation and in Albuquerque have faced staffing shortages. Some businesses even offered bonuses to attract workers, NEXSTAR reports. But wage estimates from the BLS do not include nonproduction bonuses, such as signing bonuses. So, New Mexico’s recent return-to-work incentive payments are not reflected in the wage estimates. Therefore, while New Mexico’s wages were below average, some workers in the state could be seeing some extra cash.

Additionally, on January 1, 2021, the state raised the minimum wage from $9 per hour to $10.50 per hour. This is above the federally mandated minimum wage of $7.25 per hour and may push up wage estimates in the coming years. Tipped earners, such as some food servers, also saw their pre-tip minimum wage increase from $2.35 per hour to $2.55 per hour, according to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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