We’re No. 3! We’re No. 3!


Economic-development crisis solved? Maybe that’s what New Mexico’s politicians and bureaucrats are thinking, with the state losing its worst-in-the-nation unemployment rate. Joblessness is now worse in both Alaska and Mississippi.

But as the Foundation has argued many times, unemployment is just one way of gauging a state’s economic health. The Pew Research Center recently updated its analysis of the employment-to-population ratio, “which measures the share of people in their prime working years who have jobs.”

Between 2007 and 2015, New Mexico’s unemployment-to-population ratio plunged from 79.1 percent to 71.9 percent. The Land of Enchantment’s drop was, by far, the largestĀ in the nation.

As even the Albuquerque Journal‘s Winthrop Quigley admitted this week, “the state lost 1,800 jobs in the 12 months that ended in January.” Viewed from the broadest perspective, New Mexico continues to be the most employment-challenged state. Aggressive, immediate implementation of proven economic-development strategies remainsĀ as imperative as ever. Is anyone in Santa Fe listening?