The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has released state-level unemployment data (Local Area Unemployment Statistics, or LAUS) for the second quarter of 2020. New Mexico’s labor market thus far has been less severely impacted than in most other states and is in better shape than in the US as a whole.
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
New Mexico oil and gas production reached an all-time high last year, more than doubling from approximately 5 million barrels per month in 2009 to over 13 million barrels per month by the middle of 2015. Record high production has contributed to healthy tax revenue collections in recent years and has been a boon for economic activity in New Mexico’s oil producing regions, while also making an important contribution to statewide growth. Last month the global oil over-supply condition and growth concerns in China and other important economies pushed prices to the lowest level seen in twelve years. The decline was so steep, oil fell more than $75 in an eighteen month period. Since global demand growth is not sufficient to work off excess supply, the World’s oil producing nations have sought to cooperate on easing the oil glut in order to stabilize prices; negotiations have helped to somewhat counter… View Full Post
The City of Albuquerque and Bernalillo County are updating the comprehensive plan through a process that has been called ABC-Z. The update is designed to be implemented through a new set of integrated zoning and subdivision regulations. Key goals of the project are to improve opportunities for economic development, provide protection for the city’s established neighborhoods, to streamline the city’s development review and approval procedures, and to respond to water and traffic issues. The City of Albuquerque has set up an informational website with all of the details of the project which can be found online at abc-zone.com The City of Albuquerque is making efforts to get the community involved in the planning process by hosting community meetings and working with a consultant on the plan. The city will also gain a better understanding of the effects of the existing regulations on development in Albuquerque by commissioning a study done… View Full Post
Researchers at UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research are part of the New Mexico Universities Working Group on Water Supply Vulnerabilities that was funded by the State Legislature in 2014. The working group was tasked with assessing the current status of New Mexico’s water supply and demand; evaluating the long-term impacts of the current drought on surface water, groundwater, and economic activity; and determining key vulnerabilities and potential policy strategies for mitigating these vulnerabilities. As a first step the Working Group focused on the Lower Rio Grande, and in 2015 provided their final report to the Interim Committee on Water and Natural Resources. Some of the key vulnerabilities identified in the report include: The Santa Teresa, NM area is likely to experience more business and population growth. Yet the current water supply is expected to meet the area’s needs for the next decade only. Continuing drought will create increasingly… View Full Post