May 2nd 2016 - Written by: Suzan Reagan

NM Women Employment & Poverty Trends with CPS Table Creator

Recent years have seen frequent employment status shifts. These shifts have had an effect on men’s and women’s employment and poverty status. For many years in New Mexico, men’s and women’s percent of the labor force has been close to fifty-fifty, with women’s being slightly under and men’s being slightly higher.  In 2009, 2010, and 2012, using the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC), women’s percent of the labor force was above 48 percent. Since then, women’s percentages have slightly slipped down to 46.6 percent in 2015.

NM Civilian Labor Force by Gender

New Mexico Civilian Labor Force Status

(Numbers in Thousands)

Year Total Population Male Female Civilian Labor Force Male Female
2009 1,978 970 1,008 930 478 452
2010 1,978 960 1,018 891 460 431
2011 2,034 990 1,044 889 468 421
2012 2,039 991 1,048 892 459 433
2013 2,067 1,022 1,046 949 500 449
2014 2,100 1,057 1,043 958 507 452
2015 2,035 991 1,044 917 489 427

Source: Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, 2009 through 2015; U.S. Census Bureau

This simple breakout of men to women in the labor force does not tell a complete story alone. The ASEC provides additional detailed breakouts for employment status by gender and poverty. Overall 21.2 percent of women are in poverty compared to 18.6 percent of men. For those in the civilian labor force, poverty rates were much lower with only 9.2 percent of men and 13.1 percent of women in the labor force in poverty. Poverty rates are much higher for those not in the labor force, with women at 26.7 percent and men much higher at 28.9 percent. Thus we have statistical evidence that being in the labor force is an important part of improving poverty rates and is particularly valuable for men.

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The data shown here are from the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement, which provides details for statewide demographics by employment status. The Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the CPS is designed to provide greater details on income, poverty, and healthcare. This national survey run by the Census Bureau is an excellent research source for understanding changes happening in the labor market. Recently the Census Bureau developed a tool to provide access to the data called, “CPS Table Creator.”

I’ve included here the steps used for accessing data for this blog from CPS Table Creator:

  1. Change filter “All States” at the top to New Mexico
  2. Change Data Options on the left to “Persons in Poverty Universe. And change Number of Years to “7.”
  3. On “Define Your Table” on the left change:
    1. Row Variables, First to “Civilian Labor Force Status Recode.”
    2. Column Variables, First to “Sex.”
  4. Click “Get Table” button.
  5. Highlight the data table and copy it into an Excel spreadsheet.

Finally, note that using the CPS Table Creator will pull slightly different statistics than found on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website. The data here are from the ASEC while BLS uses CPS basic within their models.

The data presented for this blog are to primarily highlight the use of the CPS Table Creator in producing detailed cross tabulations for analysis. If you are interested in labor force demographics here are two suggestions for  further reading:


The Bureau of Business & Economic Research employs a diverse staff with a wide range of specializations and interests. The views and opinions expressed on this blog belong to the individual authors alone, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of BBER or UNM.

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