New Mexico’s Work Force Participation: low and falling

There has been some reporting recently about New Mexico’s dropping labor participation rate. As this link shows, New Mexico is among the states in which people are leaving the work force at the fastest rate (a 4.4% drop since December of 2007).

While our unemployment rate is middle-of-the-road, our workforce participation rate is among the lowest in the nation and the lowest by far among the states bordering us AZ, UT, CO, OK, and TX. I am sure that the minimum wages adopted by Albuquerque and now Bernalillo County will help this situation….

One may quibble on the details, but economically it makes sense to have everyone who can possibly be engaged in productive activity, do so and for some support to be offered to ensure that the needy are brought up to certain minimum levels in terms of living standards. Allowing people to slip out of the work force entirely is not good.

See the chart below: