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Removing thorns of uncertainty

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By Sherry Robinson

New Mexico’s unemployment numbers are looking a little better. So why is it still so hard to find a job? Why is our economy in slow motion while surrounding states rebound?
“We’re not adding jobs,” said Beverlee McClure, president of the Association of Commerce and Industry, during a talk last week to business leaders.  
Employers aren’t willing or able to do much hiring. (Unless they’re in Artesia. An ACI member there told McClure, “If you can fog a mirror, we can put you to work.”)
McClure’s message: “If we’re not talking about jobs, we’re not talking about the right thing.”
During the regular session last year, jobs weren’t on anybody’s to-do list. Gov. Susana Martinez entered office with no plan other than a promise to scrutinize regulation, and the Legislature was preoccupied with balancing the budget. Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela has been invisible, I’m told by good sources, because he’s under the governor’s thumb. “But he has a lot of good ideas,” say his supporters.
OK, let’s see some.
McClure predicts greater focus on jobs in the next session. “I hope we will come together and pick three to five things we can make happen.”


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