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Booming Lea, Eddy counties lead economy

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By Harold Morgon

For 2012, Lea and Eddy counties brought the gain to the New Mexico economy. Albuquerque, Las Cruces and state government were the drain.
Before taking a closer look at the state’s 2012 economic performance, a reminder of the disappearance of a previously important element in our economic performance is appropriate.
Economy watchers, me included, formerly comforted themselves with the notion that while we lagged the nation during times of growth, we also performed better during national recessions.
The quilt of mediocre steadiness is gone. Even if we could depend on national economic growth to drag us along, the slow growth of the national economy is little help to us.
A comment about Albuquerque nicely applies statewide. “Albuquerque, meanwhile, is proving almost as resistant to recovery as it was against recession; it remained the only Mountain metro in the weakest national group,” said Mark Muro and Kenan Fikri, writing last month in the Brookings Mountain West Mountain Monitor.
The following year-over-year numbers all apply to the time between November 2011 and November 2012. The Department of Workforce Solutions released the report the afternoon of Dec. 31. Except for numbers from Lea and Eddy counties, the numbers are for wage jobs.


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