Brookings Institute: Albuquerque’s Economy Worst in the West

The latest information piling on to what we already know (Albuquerque’s economy is doing poorly) comes from the center-left Brookings Institute which finds the following:

Overall recovery in the Mountain region’s largest metropolitan areas continued apace in the fourth quarter of 2012. On the Monitor’s measure of overall recovery—which takes into account changes in employment, unemployment, output, and house prices together from each metropolitan area’s respective troughs through the fourth quarter of 2012—nine Mountain-region metropolitan areas
saw no change in standing relative to peers nationally over the quarter.

A strong end to 2012 proved sufficient to advance Las Vegas ahead two full quintiles over the quarter into the second-strongest group
of performers since recession’s end. Of the metro areas with no change, Boise, Phoenix, Provo, and Salt Lake City remained among the most strongly recovering metropolitan areas in the country. Denver, Las Vegas, and Ogden followed in the second-strongest performance quintile on this composite measure. Tucson landed in the third quintile; Colorado Springs in the fourth; and Albuquerque, with the region’s slowest recovery, languished in the fifth.

Another choice quote:

Six Mountain metro areas—Boise, Denver, Ogden, Phoenix, Provo, and Salt Lake City—closed 2012 with four consecutive quarters of job growth. By contrast, employment levels in Albuquerque fell for the fourth straight quarter, by 0.2 percent in the last three months of 2012, to a new low.

While we support the recent tax compromise, the tax cuts don’t fully take effect for five years and (as we noted) the package contains several economically-harmful measures as well. The Legislature and its continued unwillingness to make New Mexico competitive is holding our state (and its largest city) back.