Good news/bad news on jobs for New Mexico

Our friends at the Center to Unleash Prosperity have put together this excellent chart (below). It shows whether states have increased/decreased/stayed constant (those at 1) in terms of jobs since the start of the COVID 19 pandemic in March of 2020.

The good news for New Mexico is that after lagging badly on jobs during much of the pandemic and recovery New Mexico has more jobs today than it did in February of 2020. It is also right in the middle when it comes to jobs created over that time frame.

The bad news is that New Mexico’s middling result comes as the State is benefitting from a massive boom in oil and gas. This boom is happening only in New Mexico, not its neighbors. Yet, New Mexico lags behind ALL of its neighbors. Here are the rankings:

Utah: 2nd
Texas 3rd
Arizona 6th
Colorado 12th
Oklahoma 16th
New Mexico 25th

Generally speaking “red” states (those controlled by the GOP) continue to outpace “blue” ones. Colorado outpaces all of the other “Democrat trifecta” states (including NM).

New Mexico SHOULD be close to leading the nation in job growth considering its favorable geography and weather. Unfortunately its political leadership is unwilling and unable to use the unique opportunity created by the oil and gas boom.