I have previously written about the extraordinary reliance of New Mexico upon federal spending. That spending may have pulled us out of the “dark ages” as a state, but it has not led to prosperity either.
Another indicator of that over-reliance comes to us from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. As the analysis from Mercatus Center notes:
The combined total of federal contract-funded jobs and public-sector employment serves as a more accurate indicator of each state’s labor market’s reliance on government spending than direct public-sector employment alone. This map combines these figures. In seven states (Alabama, Alaska, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wyoming), government-financed jobs account for more than 25 percent of nonfarm payroll jobs. On the other hand, six states (Delaware, Indiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin) have labor markets in which less than 16 percent of nonfarm payroll jobs are directly or indirectly financed by the federal government.
Interestingly, despite Nevada’s preponderance of federal land ownership, the state has less than half the number of federal workers relative to New Mexico.