The “Trump Bump:” Will a rising economic tide lift New Mexico’s ship?

Here at the Rio Grande Foundation we stick to New Mexico policies, especially the economy. Of course, the state of the economy greatly impacts New Mexico although we tend to lag the national economy in most areas. We don’t expect the 2017 legislative session to do much positive although tax hikes and minimum wage increases could have negative impacts.

So, barring a massive run-up in oil and gas prices, New Mexico’s most likely path out of recession is a strong national economy. This brings us to President Trump. Like him or not (and we have concerns about his trade, spending, and now health care policies),  the first month’s worth of economic data are in and the stock market boomlet that we’ve seen since the election is trickling down from Wall Street to Main Street.

Check out some of this data from this US News & World Report article (which relies upon data from payroll processor ADP):

  • Domestic employers generated 298,000 new positions last month for the country’s best pace of job gains since April 2014;
  • Small and mid-sized businesses with fewer than 500 employees led gains, accounting for nearly 76 percent of the employment additions (an especially healthy sign);
  • The real story came from the goods producing segment of the economy. Such employers accounted for 106,000 of last month’s gains. Since May 2002, the earliest month for which such data is available, there has never been a better month for job creation for those who make things in America;
  • Construction outfits added 66,000 positions – their best performance since Feb. 2006. Natural resource and mining employers added 8,000 jobs – a level unmatched since Feb. 2012. And manufacturers created 32,000 new jobs for the sector’s best showing since March 2012.
  • Federal data released today largely echo the positive economic news.

These are exactly the kinds of jobs Trump promised on the campaign trail. They are exactly the kind of jobs that reducing regulatory burdens will generate.

Said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute, “February proved to be an incredibly strong month for employment with increases we have not seen in years.” In other words, the stock market’s massive gains are translating (based on an extremely limited sample size) into job growth in small business, mining, manufacturing, and other industrial sectors.

Who knows how this will impact New Mexico, but it is hard to see the Land of Enchantment not seeing some gains from the “Trump Bump.”

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