I recently attended a presentation by the Federal Reserve Bank in Albuquerque. At the event, this very informative powerpoint presentation was given. As the presentation illustrates, New Mexico is one of two states to have lost a significant number jobs over the past year (coal-reliant West Virginia being the other). Here is the data in another format.
Why is New Mexico lagging? As the charts on pages 7 and 8 of that report illustrates, New Mexico is over-reliant on Washington as a basis of its economy. And, with the recognized need for Washington to start to reverse spending growth, the decline in federal spending is going to hit New Mexico especially hard.
Not to be one to say “I told you so,” the need to diversify our economy away from the federal government was a topic of RGF back in 2007. It is time for policymakers to realize that the Washington gravy train has left the station. It is time to adopt proven, free market policies that will make New Mexico attractive to businesses.