If a vision for the state and the articulation of action for confronting our myriad deep structural problems appeared at the recent New Mexico Tax Research Institute legislative outlook conference, it slipped out the door faster than it entered.
Ferreting out a vision will be further obstructed by the newest job performance report, which appeared three days after the TRI meeting.
From November 2013 to November 2014, a seasonally-unadjusted 14,700 new wage jobs appeared, a 1.7 percent increase that is the best in a long time.
The growth is “close to the long term average,” said Tom Clifford, Department of Finance and Administration Secretary. I suspect that the happy news will divert the existing slight attention to matters such as our pathetic labor force participation, which is toward the top of the structural problems.
What, me worry?
In another venue, the December Consensus Revenue Estimate, reality begins to intrude. The report cites University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, which “points out that New Mexico is the only state that has experienced so weak a recovery and questions whether the state’s weak performance is a cyclical, temporary phenomenon or if it indicates a more troubling structural change in the state’s economic competitiveness.”