The Albuquerque Journal reports that New Mexico has a 6.7% jobless rate and that it is still the 2nd worst in the nation. (December 17, 2016 Albuquerque Journal, “ NM 6.7% jobless rate still 2nd-worst in nation”, Business Section, B-1)
New Mexico did see job gains in education and health services.
Health services is the largest and fastest–growing private industry sector in New Mexico, no doubt attributable to our aging population and perhaps increased medical care availability under “Obamacare”.
Other sectors that had job gains were professional and business services and leisure and hospitality.
New Mexico has job growth in the transportation, warehousing and utility industries.
New Mexico and Albuquerque can and must expand and find better ways to use financial incentives for economic development including tax increment districts (TIDS), industrial revenue bonds, and even fund economic development investment programs as initial start up funding with claw back provisions.
Proposing nothing more than reducing corporate taxes is not an economic development plan.
Proposing further cuts in government services is not a final solution to our budget problems, when we need to diversify our economy.
New Mexico needs to pursue with a vengeance real growth industries like healthcare, transportation manufacturing, and the film industry to diversify our economy.
Public-private partnerships in the growth industries wherever should be encouraged and developed.
Special emphasis and support should be given to New Mexico’s film industry which is developing, expanding and proving to be very successful in providing well paying jobs.
Improving our schools and vocational systems, dropout rates, are critical to diversifying New Mexico’s economy.
The Governor and the New Mexico legislature need to be aggressive in improving and funding our education system, fund early childhood care and intervention programs and mental health care programs.
The Governor needs to stop wasting time on “all crime, all the time” agendas increasing criminal penalties but rather solving the root cause of crime: poverty, our poor education system, high unemployment, drug addiction, to mention just a few root causes of crime.
New Mexico’s and Albuquerque’s economic development efforts must be better coordinated with our vocational institutions to identify new industries that can be attracted to New Mexico and insure New Mexico has a trained workforce to accommodate any new industry.
The City of Albuquerque needs to partner more with the State of New Mexico wherever possible.
A good first start in partnering with the State is to find a new vision for the State Fair grounds and how that very valuable gem in the center of Albuquerque can be better utilized to serve not only New Mexico but the Albuquerque community.
A suggestion would be for the City and State to jointly fund a tear down the old Tingley Coliseum and construct a multipurpose, state of the art facility that could be used for entertainment and sports events and operated year round with a joint powers agreement.
Other joint powers agreements can be entered into between the City, State and Bernalillo County for the mutual use of facilities.
Our Governor and the New Mexico legislature need to show far more backbone and commitment to improving and diversifying New Mexico’s economy to reduce our unemployment rates.