Mark Lautman discusses the economic future of New Mexico

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Community leaders everywhere are coming to grips with having to dramatically increase investments in local job creation efforts as their traditional funding sources. This comes as local businesses, city and county governments, and state agencies deal with massive budget deficits.

Principal as Lautman Economic Architecture, Mark Lautman discusses what the economic future of New Mexico will look like. Lautman explains that economic development relates to the activities a community undertakes in order to grow their economy faster than their population.

“That way, everybody, whether you’re a household or a tax dependent institution like a school district or a business, there’s more money per person to serve than you had in the year before so you can make improvements and life can get better,” said Lautman. “If the economy is growing slower than the population you’ve got to serve more people with less money, it’s hard to find the resources to improve and usually, it’s not good and that’s the situation we’re in now. We’re in a recession where the economy is not only not growing faster than the population, it’s shrinking.”

Lautman says that the longer there are restrictions on tourism and travel the more damage it will do to the economy. New Mexico is especially vulnerable as the state is dependent on tourism, oil, and gas.

Following an assessment by Doña Ana County where community leaders discussed the damage to the economy, Lautman said the numbers stated they were going to lose 40,000 economic-based jobs over the next planning period both due to the natural economy and the COVID-19 pandemic. As social distancing is relaxed, he believes about 20,000 will return.

Lautman says New Mexico was barely recovering from the last recession when this one hit so the state will have to put more time and effort into recovery in order to reach full employment in the next decade. The economic development community holds a basic course in economic development in Silver City every July.

This year, the course will be held virtually over six to eight weeks between July 19 and August. will have a special rate for those who would like to take the course.

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