What’s the Matter with Las Cruces?

Errors of Enchantment got to spend a little time in the City of the Crosses last week, speaking to a group of concerned citizens about the need to dramatically shift New Mexico public policy in a pro-freedom direction.

Las Cruces is a great small city — lots to do, fabulous weather (natch), and a crime rate that is substantially lower than the Land of Enchantment’s largest municipality. But its economy is in serious trouble.

Crunching the data, we found that employment in the Las Cruces MSA has been stagnant for more than a decade:

With no job growth, it’s not surprising that locals are headed to greener pastures throughout the U.S. IRS data on the movement of tax returns (and exemptions claimed, which roughly approximates the number of people) show that Doña Ana County is a net exporter of residents to other places in America:

The unemployment rate has trended downward recently, but at 6.9 percent in January, was a full percentage point higher than the state rate:

And as we explained last week, Las Cruces was the only New Mexico MSAs to have fewer jobs in January 2018 than in January 2017:

Meanwhile, the price of government continues to grow. Here’s a look at the growth of GRT burdens in south-central New Mexico since 2000:

Carlsbad’s coming back, and the oil boom in the southeast is reviving the entire region. In the northwest corner of the state, some “are seeing signs of hope that business, at last, may start picking up due to new technology and new players in the region’s established extraction industry.”

But in Las Cruces, the news isn’t good. The mayor’s strategy to “play a leadership role in our region’s transition to renewable energy, creating high-paying jobs and solid careers for local workers” doesn’t appear to be working.

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3 Replies to “What’s the Matter with Las Cruces?”

  1. Why would a major company want to move to Las Cruces? 45 miles to the south is El Paso ,and no state income tax and right to work Texas. A company can simply set up shop in El Paso and service southern New Mexico from there without the hassle and expense of a physical location in N.M.

  2. I will leave Lad Cruces as soon as I can retire in about three years. It is not a better place than it was in 2003.

  3. While doing public sector human resources work in the 1970s, and later hard at work to do local demographics for El Paso, TX & Dona Ana County, NM as a Planner, I discovered these counties generally have been exporters of human capital, based on births/deaths/population growth. The increase is immigration, with people hesitant to leave, for good reason – since the (foolish) elimination of the Bracero program, people have become trapped here, unable to cross borders safely. This likely resulted in/severely increased the colonias problems, also, including illegal land subdivisions.

    (Posted also to another item today)

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