That is New Mexico's record for job growth over the past three years compared with the other 49 states.
The details are not pretty.
--New Mexico is one of two states still showing negative jobs growth during the 34-month period.
--New Mexico's nearby states -- Colorado, Texas and Utah -- have among the best economic growth in the nation.
--New Mexico even trails California and Nevada, which have crawled back from recession despite massive problems with home foreclosures.
The data, which covers a period from Jan. 1, 2010, to October 2012, was compiled by Jerry Bradley, a former state economist now with New Mexico Voices for Children, at the request of The New Mexican. It includes the last year of former Gov. Bill Richardson's term.
If more recent numbers were included, the picture would be even bleaker, as New Mexico has recorded year-over-year job losses every month since June -- a contraction of 4,800 jobs from November 2011 to November 2012, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even High Country News has weighed in with a recent article titled "What's the Matter with New Mexico?"
Christopher Erickson, a New Mexico State University economics professor, said Gov. Susana Martinez inherited a tough economic situation in 2011, but a stellar performance on the governor's part would have stemmed that somewhat.
"She's had a tough hand dealt to her, but it's not clear that she's played it well," he told New Mexico In Depth and the Las Cruces Sun-News.
"Those of us who have looked at this for a long time are somewhat shocked," Bradley said. Because of the large government sector in New Mexico, the state was somewhat cushioned from swings in the business cycle. No more, he said, and "we're still not out of [the recession]."
To boost the economy and wean the labor force from the public sector, Martinez is touting a $65 million package that would include a business-tax cut and additional money for private-sector job training and recruitment. She also is looking at tweaks to the tax system that, she contends, would make the state more competitive with its neighbors.
The measures will be brought before the Legislature, which convenes Jan. 15.
"A truly diverse economic approach in New Mexico will support small business growth while working to attract large employers at the same time," Martinez told the Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce on Thursday. "We have to level the playing field so that we can fight for jobs alongside states like Arizona and Texas, which currently have a more favorable tax climate."
Her proposals include:
--Increasing Local Economic Development Act funding by $10 million to help local governments invest in specific infrastructure or land needs to close deals with companies looking to relocate to New Mexico;
--Providing $4.75 million in additional money to the Job Training Incentive Program, which assists employers by covering the costs of training new employees;
--A targeted tax credit specifically awarded to small businesses over the next two years for each employee hired and retained;
--Reducing the tax that companies in New Mexico pay to 4.9 percent, from the current 7.6 percent.
Democrats, however, say the governor's plans are just a nibble, not an all-hands-on-deck response to the economic hurricane that has leveled growth.
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