For the second straight month, job growth in New Mexico came in a full point behind the national average and is now the lowest in the West, according to statistics compiled by the federal Department of Labor Statistics and published by the Martinez administration.
The latest job reports numbers show that New Mexico added just 4,000 jobs in March 2012 in a state of more than 1.1 million working age adults; virtually unchanged from March 2011. By comparison, our neighboring states have continued to add jobs at a rate near or above the national average of 1.5%. Oklahoma: 2.4%, Texas 2.3%, Colorado 2.1%, etc.
Even Utah, with a similar population and rural density far surpassed New Mexico with job growth coming in at 2.3%, a full 0.8% more than the national average.
Similarly, Nevada’s job growth (0.8%) exceeded New Mexico’s which last month was just behind Nevada at 0.6%.
As we reported last month, Governor Martinez talks a lot about job creation but the numbers continue to show that after almost 18-months in office her radical policies are holding New Mexico back. Neighboring states with combined reporting for out-of-state corporations establish a more level playing fields for local businesses and are adding jobs at a much quicker pace than New Mexico. Republicans blocked similar legislation in the legislature this year and Governor Martinez later vetoed a compromise version.
Similarly, the governor’s veto of more than $22M in programs and capitol outlay has kept hundreds of construction workers at home and put professionals, like nurses, social workers, food bank workers and teachers out of work when their programs were cut.
Despite Martinez’s claims that New Mexico is more business friendly under her watch, corporate CEO’s recently lowered New Mexico’s business friendly rating in its first reporting of New Mexico’s business climate judged entirely by policies under a Martinez administration.
“Governor Martinez has spent more time in office talking about her next job in Washington than the one she has now in Santa Fe,” says ProgressNowNM’s Pat Davis. “It’s time to shelve the rhetoric and veto pen and get money back into our communities where people need to work.”
March numbers start to show a scary trend. While other states, and particularly our Western neighbors, are adding jobs at a steady pace, New Mexico is stuck in last place and not moving forward.