Two months ago, Errors of Enchantment inaugurated a system to benchmark job growth in New Mexico. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics conducts a regular analysis of 12-month employment growth in the nation’s metropolitan statistical areas. Our analysis explores New Mexico’s four MSAs, compared with the 49 MSAs found in the state’s five neighbors: Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Texas.
As depicted in the chart above, in the third month of our research, the results remained dismal. Average job growth from May 2016 to May 2017, for the neighbor MSAs, was 1.8 percent. No New Mexico MSA came even close: Albuquerque grew by just 0.1 percent, there was no change in Las Cruces, Santa Fe declined by 0.2 percent, and Farmington dipped by 1.0 percent.
Utah’s MSAs — St. George (5.4 percent), Provo-Orem (4.6 percent), Ogden-Clearfield (3.8 percent), Salt Lake City (3.2 percent), and Logan (2.1 percent) — continued to dominate, with each topping the regional average. Why the members of New Mexico’s “economic development” community aren’t taking regular trips to the Beehive State to learn what’s going right there is anyone’s guess.