Archive for April, 2016

 April 19th 2016 - Written by: Jeff Mitchell

What Do Millennials Know About Drought Anyway?

Water is arguably the most important resource in New Mexico. The recent ‘El Nino’ treated us well, bringing heavy rain last summer and snow during the winter. Does this mean that the drought is behind us? Accessible climate data is remarkably difficult to find, buried in frustratingly complex websites such as www.nws.noaa.gov and www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov. This blog entry is intended to introduce readers to useful data sources, with a principal focus on water resources. Only secondarily I offer a very general (and admittedly amateur) summary of the state’s recent climate history. The best source of historical climate data is National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a division of the US Commerce Department. The site includes data from no fewer than 549 weather stations in New Mexico alone (though data is not complete for all stations.) Unfortunately, the data delivery is very cumbersome, data entry that makes one long for the Census… View Full Post


 April 11th 2016 - Written by: Michael O'Donnell

The Labor Force & Demographic Shifts

In my last two blog posts, I discussed trends in labor force participation (here) and reasons why so many people are out of the labor force (here). As I noted in my most recent post, shifting demographic trends have changed the landscape of the labor force over the last decade and are likely to continue into the future – this is especially true of the oldest age cohorts. In particular, those cohorts have managed to simultaneously increase their rates of labor force participation while at the same time adding the largest number of people not in the labor force. The reason for this seeming incongruity is that population growth for this group is rapid. The population pyramid below, which is provided by the US Census Bureau, shows how the dynamics of the US population have changed through time. The pyramid, which allows you to scroll through years from 2000 to… View Full Post


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