The work force in Otero County is reliable and not transitory. Service and retail trade tend to dominate the jobs available. With nearby White Sands National Monument which draws some 600,000+ tourists annually and the mountain resorts of the Ruidoso area, tourism is another major source of employment.
New Mexico is not a right to work state, and thus labor unions are present. However, the State enjoys a high level of labor peace. According to the Grant-Thornton Manufacturing Climates Study (1992), New Mexico ranked number one among the states with the “least man hours lost” due to strikes in manufacturing. The May 1995 issue of included an article on “America’s Most Productive Workers.” This article reported that a survey by Arthur Anderson & Company found New Mexico to have the “highest value-added per manufacturing employee among the 50 states.”
Union participation is less than 5%. Due to the low rate of unionization, there is relatively no monitoring conducted as to the number of union petitions and results of votes.
In a study at Rutgers University it was found that in a nine state southwest region, New Mexico again ranked first, becoming less unionized at rates ranging from 990 to 1,200 percent over Utah, California, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma. It was also found that New Mexico’s workforce is becoming less unionized at a rate twice the national average.