According to polls put out by the website Five Thirty Eight a few weeks ago, President Donald Trump’s popularity has declined more in New Mexico than in any other state. Of course, Trump didn’t win New Mexico in the first place, so the President wasn’t exactly popular in the Land of Enchantment.
Whatever New Mexicans think of Trump, it might be worth noting that by one important metric, unemployment rate, New Mexico has arguably benefited more than any other state. According to unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Mexico’s unemployment rate was 6.5% in January of 2017 when Trump took office. The rate has declined to 5.1% as of May 2018, the greatest decline over that period experienced by any state.
By way of comparison, under eight years of Obama, New Mexico’s unemployment rate rose from 6.2% in January of 2009 to 6.6% when Obama left in December of 2017.
Can we credit Trump for all of this? No, of course not. State policies and even more importantly broader economic forces including the discovery of new oil fields in Southeastern New Mexico are additional factors. Also, New Mexico’s GDP and other economic data are not nearly as strong. But, for a state that has been down so long economically, any good is good news and Trump’s pro-energy, tax -cutting policies must be considered part of the equation (Santa Fe hasn’t done anything!)