News

New Mexico reinstates work search requirement for recipients of unemployment benefits
May 10, 2021
Michael O'Donnell, acting director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of New Mexico, said forecasts for New Mexico estimate employment levels could approach pre-pandemic figures sometime in 2023 or 2024.

Many people choosing to stay on unemployment rather than work, business owners and analysts say
May 6, 2021
Director Mo O’Donnell says, compared to other states, we’re more reliant on the leisure and hospitality industry, which is obviously one of the areas the pandemic hit the hardest.

Is an extra $300 a week enough to keep workers out of the workforce? A UNM researcher says it's
May 6, 2021
Data show unemployment benefits generally totaled 128% of a worker's pre-pandemic wage, according to a BBER analysis. That's because — essentially — the bulk of the pandemic layoffs and job losses during the pandemic affected those working lower-paying jobs, the analysis said.

Worker shortage causes problems for New Mexico businesses
May 5, 2021
The University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research team (UNM BBER) says the state is lagging behind the recovery process of most of the rest of the country, and a full recovery may not arrive until late 2023.

Pandemic changed the ‘calculus’ for state’s workers
May 3, 2021
“If you’re a worker and you don’t know for sure that you’re going to be able to work next week, or your hours might get cut because the demand for whatever is being sold at your establishment is relatively low, then you have to put that uncertainty in your calculation,” he said.

How New Mexico’s unemployment crisis fares in the U.S.
April 30, 2021
“People have gotten used to doing things in a new way,” BBER director Mo O’Donnell explained. “There’s no guarantee that people are going to go back to the way that things were exactly, and there’s no timetable for how long that recovery is going to take.”

University of New Mexico director: State's economy needs a boost
March 9, 2021

US Census Webinar for New Mexico on March 9th
February 12, 2021
Communities have been hard hit with the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. Census Bureau's COVID-19 Hub contains demographic and economic data designed to help guide decision-making related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Mexico's post-pandemic economic recovery could take years
January 25, 2021
Data show that the body blow to New Mexico's economy came in the second quarter of 2020. By the time the calendar turned to April, Covid-19-related restrictions had upended New Mexico businesses for about two weeks.

Fresh signs of life point to resiliency of Permian Basin
January 3, 2021
The lack of improvement in the job numbers could be because oil companies are shifting away from labor-intensive production, meaning fewer workers may be needed to produce the same amount of oil, said Michael O’Donnell, acting director of the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research.

Michael O’Donnell named Acting Director of UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research
December 10, 2020
Michael ‘Mo’ O’Donnell has been made Acting Director of The University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. He is temporarily taking the reins at the request of current director Jeff Mitchell.

Working 4 the Future: Training New Mexico’s Workforce
December 7, 2020

Council to vote on paid leave proposal
December 4, 2020

The Economic Opportunities and Challenges of Uranium Mine Cleanup in New Mexico
November 23, 2020
New Mexico was a principal site of uranium mining in the US from the 1940s until the collapse of demand in the 1990s. Much of the mining activity was in northwestern New Mexico, on and neighboring Native American tribal lands, particularly those of the Navajo Nation. A legacy of uranium mining is severe environmental contamination, including approximately 1100 mining, milling, and exploratory drilling sites in northwest New Mexico, as well as extensive groundwater contamination. Native, especially Navajo, communities have suffered the majority of the consequences of this contamination. Native populations, many of whom were employed in uranium mining operations, also suffered severe economic dislocation following the collapse of the industry. Significant measures to address the environmental impacts of past uranium mining have emerged only recently. Remediation has been complicated by the difficulty of identifying the parties who are legally responsible for the environmental damage, as control of mining operations and attached leases frequently changed hands during repeated cycles of boom and bust. Moreover, processes necessary to fund and oversee remediation work have been established only over the past two decades. A hopeful development was the 2015 Tronox settlement, under which the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) secured more than $1 billion to fund the cleanup of 56 sites on or near territory of the Navajo Nation, including the Quivira mine sites and the Shiprock Uranium mill site in northwestern New Mexico.

Report: Uranium waste cleanup could spur new industry
October 26, 2020
A new report from the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research says the state could use money from a nearly $1 billion federal mining settlement awarded to the Environmental Protection Agency to jump-start a new industry focused on environmental cleanup.

Unemployment claims climb in New Mexico while dropping across nation
August 14, 2020
“Continuing claims offer a more accurate and balanced account of the labor market, as it reflects not only persons seeking unemployment insurance but also persons who have found work and are no longer receiving unemployment insurance,” said BBER Director Jeff Mitchell.

New Mexico jobless claims increase 27 percent
July 29, 2020

NM Economic Census Data July 22 at 1:00
July 22, 2020
Presentation on the US Census Bureau data release for NM from the Economic Census.

UNM financial expert says state could see 165,000 new unemployment claims
July 16, 2020

Experts: NM to face long-lasting economic pain
July 15, 2020
SANTA FE — The economic damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic is likely to reshape New Mexico’s economy for years, killing smaller companies and expanding the gap between high- and low-wage earners, university researchers told lawmakers Wednesday.