Archives

 March 14th 2016 - Written by: Gwen Aldrich

The value of metro nature

A paper published last year by Wolf et al.[1] attempts to quantify the economic value associated with various psychosocial, cognitive, and physical health and well-being benefits derived from US metro nature areas. Metro nature is a broadly-defined term that includes open spaces, riparian areas, parks, community gardens, streetscapes, green rooftops, and other such areas. The authors focus on 6 out of 15 such benefits documented in the peer-reviewed literature – birth weight, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), secondary school performance, crime, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease – and estimate that the annual economic value (in the form of lower and avoided costs and higher income) associated with these six health and well-being benefits totals between $2.7 and $6.8 billion (2012 $). The health and well-being benefits are most often associated with direct and active human interaction with metro nature. As an example, interactions with nature and green areas have been… View Full Post

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 March 11th 2016 - Written by: Raphael Pacheco

Less considered ART impact on low income households

In the past few months Albuquerque residents might have noticed large banners and signs adorning the facades of businesses on Central Avenue. The “No Albuquerque Rapid Transit” message echoed by dozens of establishments is hard to miss along the famous Route 66. Some business owners along Central and other opposition groups, like Save Route 66 Central, claim that the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) as currently proposed will not provide faster ride times for passengers, will decrease business accessibility, and will have adverse impacts on current parking, bicycle lanes, and mature trees (http://savert66.org/infographics/). On the other hand, many supporters of the $119 million improved method of transportation, like Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry, believe the investment will spur development in the region, providing economic growth and opportunity to many who travel, live, or shop along the busy historic road. But regardless of the ART’s impact on businesses, commuting problems highlight a severe problem… View Full Post

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 March 9th 2016 - Written by: Julian Baca

New Mexico Oil & Gas Production at an Inflection Point? A Review of O&G Production in NM and Other Important US Basins.

As the Energy Information Agency data shows in Chart 1 US exploration and production (E&P) companies started slashing the number of rigs deployed in the field beginning in the fourth quarter of 2014.  Reduced rig counts have broadly impacted production in the US and New Mexico.   Production levels and the global price of oil and natural gas determine important state tax revenues but also impacts overall economic activity.  This blog explores related data and a handful of these themes. As Chart 1 depicts, cuts in operating rigs have occurred in all major formations in the country.  Charts 2 and 3 demonstrate that oil and gas production has caught up with rig reductions to varying degrees depending on the basin. Natural gas output in the Eagle Ford and the Niobrara started to decline in the spring of 2015 while the Bakken reversed course by the middle of the same year and… View Full Post

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 March 7th 2016 - Written by: Suzan Reagan

Youth have higher unemployment rates – Local area demographic data by employment status

Youth tend to have a much higher unemployment rate then other age groups. In New Mexico, the overall unemployment rate was 9.6 percent, but from the Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey (ACS), 5 year estimates for 16 to 19 years old was 39.3 percent and 20 to 24 years old was 15.7 percent. In the United States, youth are also seen to have higher unemployment rates than other age groups with 16 to 19 years old at 27.1 percent and 20 to 24 years old at 15.3 percent. New Mexico’s youth aged 16 to 19 years at a 39.3 percent annual unemployment rate for 2014 from ACS is significantly higher than the the 27.1 percent seen nationally. The numbers show that many youths both in New Mexico and across the nation have a difficult time obtaining employment. Source: US Census Bureau American Community Survey, Table S2301 EMPLOYMENT STATUS for New… View Full Post

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  ACS, Census, Employment
  

 March 2nd 2016 - Written by: Julian Baca

US Business Cycle: Average Duration (Expansions and Contractions)

Although the length of time of economic expansions and contractions are not necessarily predictive of the duration of future market cycles, it is interesting to look back at the historical performance. As measured by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the peak-to-trough contractions have averaged twelve months in the last forty-five years. The most recent recession has been commonly referred to as the Great Recession both because it was the longest contraction since the Great Depression and also due to the large drop-off in employment and economic activity. The 2008-09 contraction spanned eighteen months. The 1973-75 and 1981-82 recessions lasted sixteen months each. The Great Depression (1929-33) gripped the US economy for 4-1/2 years. Since 1970, the average expansion has averaged seventy-two months, or approximately six years. The US enjoyed ten consecutive years (March 1991 – March 2001) of uninterrupted growth in the 1990s. After Fed Chairman Volcker put… View Full Post

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 March 1st 2016 - Written by: Gwen Aldrich

Issues of economics, water, and forestry management converge in the Rio Grande watershed

The Rio Grande Water Fund is a non-profit public/private partnership that seeks to treat and thin forests in the Rio Grande Basin, thus protecting one of New Mexico’s most important water sources. The Fund was founded to reduce the prevalence of overgrown, thick, and homogeneous forests and thereby reduce the risk of wildfire and mitigate impacts on watersheds. However, thinning and treating forests is costly, and there are hundreds of thousands of acres that need treating. This raises questions as to the value of improved water quality and security and whether a market can be developed for what is mostly small-diameter wood. The wildfire risk and challenges posed by conditions in the Rio Grande watershed certainly are not unique. Similar conditions and issues exist across much of the West, and have contributed to the occurrence of wildfires that are on average larger in size than those that occurred approximately 30… View Full Post

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 February 29th 2016 - Written by: Jeff Mitchell

BBER Partner, SHARE New Mexico, Establishes Common Grant Application Process

Eight of the largest foundations in New Mexico have come together to create a Common Grant Application process. These foundations are Albuquerque Community Foundation, Intel, McCune Charitable Foundation, Nusenda Foundation, PNM, PNM Resources Foundation, Sandia Foundation, and United Way of Central New Mexico. Other funders are welcome to participate as well. The application process is hosted by SHARE New Mexico, an online portal for grant-makers, social service providers, researchers, and communities across New Mexico.  The creation of the common grant process was reported by the Santa Fe New Mexican.  Share New Mexico and the common application process were established in part as the result of a study conducted in 2011 by BBER and funded by the United Way of Central New Mexico and the PNM Foundation. Mission: Graduate, a cradle-to-career education partnership, also attributes its founding to the BBER study.  

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  Non-Profit, UNM
  

 February 26th 2016 - Written by: Michael O'Donnell

Labor Force Participation Rate Trends

A data series that economists follow closely is the labor force participation rate. The labor force participation rate, which is estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), is the labor force aged at least 16 years (or all appropriately aged individuals classified as employed or unemployed) as a percent of the civilian noninstitutional population aged 16 or more. Prior to the Great Recession, the US participation rate peaked at 66.4%. In other words, 66.4% of all noninstitutionalized individuals were either employed or looking for work. However, post-recession, the rate has been on a downward trajectory and has now registers 62.7%. Analysts often argue that the declining participation rate is worrisome because it may signify weakness in the economy, and specifically in the job market. The argument goes: if the economy was in a better position, an increasing proportion of the population would be either working or looking for work…. View Full Post

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 February 25th 2016 - Written by: Ruiz

Using the Price of West Texas Intermediate Oil to Estimate the Price of New Mexico Oil

Oil and natural gas production is subject to royalties and taxes. The State of New Mexico Oil and Natural Gas Administration and Revenue Database (ONGARD) service center collects royalty and tax fillings for the State Land Office and the Taxation and Revenue Department. However, there is at least a three month lag from when the sale occurred, to when it was reported for tax purposes, to when it will be reported in the ONGARD database. So, if there is a need for the current price of New Mexico oil, then the previous method to calculate it will not suffice. However, since the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil and the price of New Mexico oil move in tandem and the price of WTI is published daily, then through regression, we can estimate the current price of New Mexico oil. The results from regressing the price of New Mexico oil… View Full Post

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 February 24th 2016 - Written by: Suzan Reagan

Preparing for the 2020 Census is already underway

  Right now the Census Bureau is making important decisions about the next decennial census. It might seem like April 1, 2020 is a long way away from now, but the Bureau published its operational plan back in October last year. The director John Thompson noted in his blog on February, 5, 2016  that this year there will be 62 key decisions made that will effect how the 2020 Census will be carried out. There are also two census advisory committees which have been active in providing recommendations for improvements. While the operational plan outlines in extensive detail lots of activities, there are a few key items that New Mexicans should be aware of. These are programs, which will be requesting information from the states that leading up to the decennial census, will affect how well the data are collected at that time. Boundary and Annexation Survey (BAS) This program is… View Full Post

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  Census
  

UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research • Onate Hall at The University of New Mexico
303 Girard Blvd. NE, Suite 116; Albuquerque, NM 87106 • 505.277.2216 Main • 505.277.6626 Data Bank