New Mexico’s Drop and Recovery Back to the Top, COVID Effects on New Mexico Economy and Recovery

October 21, 2021


By: Ben Spradlin

It’s no secret that COVID had a negative effect on New Mexico, or anywhere for that matter. Thousands of New Mexicans died,  lost their jobs, and many profitable businesses went out of business. The big question is: How has the economy’s recovery plan been affected while we have been reopening and getting things back on track?

New Mexico, like other states, had an all-time high of unemployed citizens.  With a 12.2% average unemployment rate back in July 2020, in the middle of the lockdown. New Mexico is currently struggling with unemployment. As of July 2021 they ranked New Mexico’s unemployment rate 48th out of the 50 states. Tying with California and New York with the second highest unemployment rate of 7.6% and closely tying with Nevada.

The main reason NM continues to struggle is due to the negative effects COVID had on small businesses to the point where only 60% of businesses pre-pandemic remain open with their revenues decreased by 30%. 

COVID has significantly decreased competition in business. Due to the lockdown, the majority of small businesses had no choice but to close while allowing massive corporations to stay open and continue thriving. This destroyed business sustainability and caused loss of revenue in New Mexico’s economy.

Rob Black, CEO and president of NM chamber of commerce strongly believes the heart of the downfall of our economy was because of the struggles of small businesses, because it hit them too hard for a swift recovery. “For many small businesses who went out of business, trying to reopen was just simply impossible. They didn’t have the money or resources they had pre-pandemic and lost it all during the pandemic.” said Black.

“My solution would be to provide more assistance to those who are struggling, whether they own a business or not to get them on their feet. We are acting like COVID is done and there are no more problems.” said Black.

Rob’s solution is very similar to the one presented by

´´When it comes to the economy, we’re all in it together.  It’s in our nation’s interest for everyone to have economic security and the opportunity to move forward. But the current economic recovery effort threatens to leave some groups and communities behind, and that hurts us all. Recovering from this financial crisis demands new rules for a 21st Century economy that connects all communities to economic opportunity´´

Ben Spradlin, High School Writer for the ASK Academy newspaper, the ASK Catalyst.

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