Historically a ranching and mining state, New Mexico’s natural resources still contribute significantly to its economy. Although the mining sector employs a small percentage of the total workforce, the oil and gas industry contributes over $2 billion annually to the state in taxes and other revenue. New Mexico is also the leading producer of potash in the country and has significant uranium resources.
In the 1940s the Manhattan project at Los Alamos and the establishment of Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque in 1948 began what is now a significant presence of federal investment in the state (both are funded by the Department of Energy), which is also home to three Air Force Bases. Kirtland AFB, in Albuquerque, includes the Air Force Research Laboratory. Employment at Los Alamos and Sandia is primarily reflected in the Professional, Scientific & Technical Services sector because they are both managed by private corporations. New Mexico currently receives about $6 billion in federal research funding, but employment has decreased with sequestration.
The data provided in this section include business statistics, employment and wage trends, gross state product by industry, quarterly gross receipts, and personal income by source and earnings by industry for the state, MSAs and counties.
Since the economic downturn of 2007, New Mexico has been on the path to economic recovery. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), between 2010 and 2015, real GDP in New Mexico increased by 4.1%. Since 2007, the annual real GDP growth in New Mexico has been positive except in 2013, when it fell by 0.6%. In 2015, New Mexico’s real GDP grew 1.7% compared to 2014. Mining, health care and social assistance, and real estate and rental and leasing were the leading contributors to real economic growth in New Mexico. Per capita real GDP in 2015 was $41,529, 83% of the nation’s per capita real GDP ($50,054).
The line graph above shows the monthly year-over-year growth in total nonfarm, private and federal government employment since 2010. In May 2010, federal government employment growth reached its peak of about 14.8% after which it starting declining and in May 2011, growth became negative and has continuously been in decline. In January 2011 the economy started adding private sector jobs again (private sector employment grew by 0.1%). In July 2016 total nonfarm employment growth was 1.2%, 9,500 more nonfarm jobs than a year ago. The private sector grew by 1.0% adding 6,500 private sector jobs over the same. Education and health services, local government, and leisure and hospitality were the leading contributors to this growth, at 1.4%, 0.4%, and 0.3% respectively.
The annual unemployment rate in 2015 was 6.6%, down from 6.7% in 2014. Since the beginning of 2008, the unemployment rate had been increasing until July 2010 where it reached its peak at 8.6% and has been falling since then, reaching 6.4% in November 2016.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) shows that New Mexico’s per capita personal income (PCPI) grew from $33,109 in 2010 to $37,938 in 2015, representing an increase of 15%. New Mexico’s 2015 PCPI of $37,938 was 78.9% of the national average ($48,112). On the other hand, New Mexico’s per capita disposable personal income grew by 12.5% from $30,581 in 2010 to $34,396 in 2015. In 2015 annual median household income in New Mexico was estimated to be $45,382, 81.4% of the national average ($55,775), according to the U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
Annual U.S. Census data shows that in 2014 there were about 121,343 nonemployer businesses in New Mexico with an annual average of $40,000 in receipts (sales). New Mexico businesses with paid employees had 43,748 establishments, employing 602,632 people with a total annual payroll of $22.6 billion in that same year. The retail trade sector made up 15% of the total establishments in New Mexico. The healthcare and social assistance sector employed the highest number of people (115,814 people) generating the highest total annual payroll in New Mexico – 20.5% of total annual payroll in New Mexico.
New Mexico’s exports have continued to increase reaching $3.718 billion in 2015, an increase of more than $1 billion over 2013 figures. Exports to Mexico were the highest, setting an all-time high of $1.683 billion, a growth rate of 10%. Exports to China grew by 11%, Israel by 33%, and Belgium by 32% between 2014 and 2015. Growth at the Borderplex, including the Union Pacific Intermodal Facility which began operations in 2014, and the Bi-National Community, will continue to significantly increase business transactions between New Mexico and other countries especially Mexico.