Albuquerque, NM – Personal incomes have gone up in New Mexico, despite the economic downturn, but it's not because wages have increased.
According to USA Today analysis of national economic data, people made less money in many states during the recession as personal incomes declined. In New Mexico, government programs led to a growth in personal incomes even through the worst of the recession.
Gerry Bradley is Research Director for New Mexico Voices for Children. He says programs like Social Security, unemployment insurance, food stamps, and Medicare kicked in exactly as they were supposed to by softening the impact of the economic downturn. Without these payments, New Mexico personal incomes would have gone down "And that would have been quite catastrophic we would have seen a lot more pain and suffering among the working population than we did and you know a lot more suffering from people who are dependent upon state government for services."
The National Bureau of Economic Research announced this week that the recession ended during the summer of 2009. According to the USA Today analysis, New Mexico ranked 10th in personal income growth during the downturn, but jumped to first since the recession ended.
New Mexico personal incomes have grown by over 2 percent since last summer, compared to .03 percent growth nationally.