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Low take-home pay may hinder state hiring efforts

August 29, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new study shows average take-home pay for New Mexico state employees is the lowest in a seven-state region and may be hindering efforts to expand the ranks of qualified state workers.

Announced on Wednesday, the briefing by the Legislature’s nonpartisan budget office shows New Mexico state workers take home less than 55% of total compensation including retirement benefits.

That trails states including Texas, Colorado and Arizona. Higher employee insurance costs are an important factor.

The State Personnel Office is trying to increase staffing at many agencies as New Mexico shifts from austerity measures to hiring amid a budget surplus.

The report cites recent difficulties in retaining new employees and asks whether young workers might prefer more take home pay to a benefits-rich compensation package.

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