Tuesday, June 12, 2007

New Mexico Economy

A recent Bureau of the Census report gives New Mexico the nation's fifth fastest growing state Gross Domestic Product between mid-2005 and 2006 with a 6.2% increase. Idaho led the nation at 7.4%. Two of the other three states ahead of New Mexico were Four Corners states—Utah and Arizona. As a rule, New Mexico's economic performance, however strong, trails the Four Corners states. The other state ahead of New Mexico has a short border with us. That's Oklahoma.
During the spring of 2006, the time leading to the close of the GDP performance period, the New Mexico economy was trucking along with monthly year-over-year job gains well above two percent, the state's best performance in more than ten years. Employment grew 2.8% in March 2006 and 2.3% in April 2006. The monthly gains peaked at 3.6% in June 2006 due to movie production, a notoriously cyclical activity that offers monthly employment swings of several thousand jobs, one way or the other, the state Department of Labor says.
A year later, the gains are back to what DOL drolly calls "more average levels," that is, back to mediocrity with job growth well under two percent. Job growth was 1.7% in March and 1.9% in April, the latest figure available from DOL as of this writing, June 12.

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