The Albuquerque Journal is one of the few media outlets to have caught on to the fact which we’ve been discussing for years, that New Mexico’s workforce participation rate is terrible…and, it got much worse during COVID. The Journal and its sources cited an increase in New Mexicans on SSDI or “disability.”
Here’s the raw data from Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As you can see from the chart below, since January of 2020, shortly before the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, Colorado has actually increased its workforce participation rate from 66.7% to 67.1%; Utah’s rate has stayed the same at 66.7%; Texas’ rate dropped slightly from 61.4% to 61.2%; Arizona’s rate also dropped slightly from 59.1% to 58.9%; and Oklahoma’s rose from 58.9% to 59%.
New Mexico not only went into the Pandemic with the lowest workforce participation rate (by far) at 55.6%, but that rate dropped rather significantly down to 54.2%
This cartoon highlights the fundamental problem facing New Mexico. We need more New Mexicans pulling the cart and fewer people in the cart. Alas, we have moved in the opposite direction under Gov. Lujan Grisham.