New Mexico's economic outlook is displaying resilience and optimism, as reported by leading economists who presented a snapshot of the state's economic performance to lawmakers. The key takeaway is that New Mexico is not only recovering, but thriving post-pandemic.
Stephanie Schardin Clarke, the secretary of the Tax and Revenue Department, highlighted the absence of recession predictions in the national forecasts, a significant shift from earlier assessments. She emphasized the state's positive economic indicators, including a 2.85% growth rate over the past year, with notable contributions from construction, retail trade and various sectors.
On the national scale, the United States is experiencing robust job growth, adding approximately 258,000 jobs monthly, surpassing pre-pandemic levels. New Mexico mirrors this trend as one of the top job gainers among states, with 7,300 jobs added in June 2023. Over the past year, the state averaged an increase of approximately 3,300 non-farm jobs.
These job gains are diverse, with significant increases in mining, including oil and gas production, local government and leisure and hospitality. Unemployment is decreasing both nationally and in New Mexico, hovering around 3.5% in the state. However, the state faces a unique challenge—more job openings than workers willing to fill them.
Wages and salaries are on the rise, contributing to positive economic growth. While inflation has exceeded 3% compared to the previous year, it is beginning to trend downward.
Lawmakers responded positively to this promising economic data, acknowledging the potential for wise investments to further boost the state's prosperity.