December 6, 2016

New Mexico ‘worst-run’ state in the nation. Again.

A high poverty rate, dire budget situation and high unemployment led to New Mexico once again being named the worst-run state in the nation, according to a list compiled by 24/7 Wall St.

This is the second year in a row that the publication ranked New Mexico as the worst-run state in the country.

The site ranks the states based on “measures of financial health and fiscal responsibility, as well as socioeconomic outcomes such as unemployment, poverty, and crime — conditions state governments are tasked with managing and improving.”

In addition to other economic factors, 24/7 Wall St. cited Moody’s Investor Services downgrading the state’s credit rating which came because of a general lack of general fund reserves.

New Mexico is also seeing stagnant population growth, another indicator the New York-based publication looks at.

The unemployment rate in 2015 was 6.6 percent, or the third-highest in the nation. Meanwhile, 20.4 percent of residents in the state are living in poverty.

On the other end of the scale, North Dakota ranked as the best-run state in America. The economic conditions were aided by a boom in oil and gas drilling in the Bakken shale oil formation, which led to more jobs and higher wages in the state.

In 2014, New Mexico ranked 49th, behind every state except Illinois. In 2010, when 24/7 Wall St.began compiling the list, New Mexico ranked 37th.

Here is the full excerpt about New Mexico from 24/7 Wall St.

50. New Mexico

> Debt per capita: $3,303 (24th lowest)

> 2015 Unemployment rate: 6.6% (3rd highest)

> Credit rating: Aa1/AA

> Poverty: 20.4% (2nd highest)

New Mexico ranks as the worst run state on our list for the second consecutive year. Following a large and unexpected tax shortfall in the state’s fiscal 2016 and 2017 budgets, Moody’s downgraded the state’s credit rating and outlook. Despite the outlook, according to the credit agency, New Mexico has a strong history of balancing its budget, and the state’s debt levels are manageable and on the decline.

The likelihood of living in poverty is very high for individuals without a high school diploma. In New Mexico, fewer than 85% of adults have a high school diploma, nearly the lowest high school attainment rate, and more than 20% of state residents live in poverty, the second highest rate of all states. Like most poorly-run states, New Mexico’s labor market is struggling. The state’s labor force declined over the last five years, and 6.5% of workers were unemployed as of October, the highest October jobless rate of all states.