Unemployment: New Mexico Bucks the National Trend

Whatever one thinks about Barack Obama, unemployment has fallen during his administration. It peaked at 10.0 percent in October 2009, nine months after the 44th president was inaugurated. Since then, it’s declined slowly but steadily, to 5.1 percent.

For a time, it appeared that New Mexico was following suit. Unemployment in the Land of Enchantment peaked at 8.3 percent in July 2010, then tumbled to 5.9 percent in the first month of this year.

That’s when the progress stopped.


By August, New Mexico’s unemployment rate climbed back to 6.7 percent. In Albuquerque, the rate bottomed out at 5.4 percent in the final month of 2014, then increased to 6.6 percent in August. (If joblessness is rising during a national recovery, what’s going to happen to New Mexico when the next recession hits?)

Fewer employment opportunities help explain the state’s dismal employment-to-population ratio for 25-to-54-year-olds.

Errors of Enchantment has written it before, and we’ll write it again: New Mexico needs an effective and aggressive economic-development strategy, implemented yesterday.