Thursday, October 15, 2015

On The Econ Beat: Just How Many Oil and Gas Layoffs? Cost Of Hauling Out Of ABQ Soars; A Parent Complaint About The Out Migration, And: All Crime All The Time In Campaign '16? 

The state oil and gas crowd is rightfully proud to boast of the tax revenue it generates and the jobs it provides but now that a bear market is rampaging across the energy patch the industry is reluctant to tell us exactly how many people are losing their jobs. Halliburton is the latest to lay off workers in the oil patch, including Hobbs and Farmington but they are mum on the number. . .

It's worth noting here again that the Legislative Finance Committee is now saying that for every dollar drop in the price of a barrel of oil, the state general fund suffers a loss of $9 to  $10 million. That's up from $6 million because of the increase we've had in production. With oil prices still anguishing below Santa Fe's predicted level of $56 a barrel for the next budget year, (the one that begins next July) w could get a downward revision in how much money will be available for lawmakers to divvy up at the next legislative session in January. . .

A reader recently expressed shock at U-Haul rates in the ABQ area, saying getting out of ABQ is a whole lot more expensive than moving in. We checked and it seems they're right.

Renting a U-Haul to move out of a 2 to 3 bedroom home and go to Portland, Oregon was quoted at $1,775. To rent that same U-Haul from Portland to ABQ was only $503.

A U-Haul employee tells us he is a bit baffled by the huge discrepancy but it appears to come down to supply and demand. "A lot of people are moving out of ABQ plus we have a large military presence here that is mobile." Maybe we should add the U-Haul business barometer to the city's index of leading economic indicators. . .

Reader Carolyn writes of the out migration here and the impact on her family and others:

Joe, How about an article on the costs to our economy of the out migration of young adults (20-35) from their home state of NM? Of my friends' college graduate children between the ages of 21 and 35, most have relocated elsewhere. That means not just the loss of their skills in our economy, but also the loss of dollars spent by the parents left in NM. 

We now spend our money on travel and accommodations to visit them and for them to visit us. That certainly adds up. Would I love a new couch? An addition to my house? New landscaping? Donate more to a non-profit? Yes. But as I ponder these items, they look more and more like to a trip or two to visit my daughter or for her to visit me. When they start families, many of us plan to move to be closer to them. Will they return to New Mexico? Hardly. 

We think you just did that article, Carolyn, and quite well.


Sen. Sanchez
Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez was the Dem Senator who raised the most campaign cash in the latest reporting period--$174,000 in total for his campaign account and PAC. We blogged incorrectly in a first draft that Senate Majority Whip Michael Padilla was the biggest Senate Dem fund-raiser, but his boss far outdid his $91,000 total. Also in that first draft we incorrectly referred to Padilla as the minority whip (Republicans are hoping we are psychic on that one).

Meanwhile, Leader Sanchez makes this most unsurprising of announcements about the upcoming January legislative session:

Sanchez says any GOP-sponsored bill aimed at repealing New Mexico's immigrant driver's license law won't make it to the Senate floor next session. Again.

Gov. Martinez has pushed for the repeal and seen it die in each and every legislative session during her tenure, as well as at a special session. That has to be some kind of record.


ABQ attorney Steve Suttle seems to nail it when he says to expect crime and punishment to be the major theme of state Republicans when they try next year to keep their majority in the state House and pick up seats in the state Senate:

Crime, punishment, jail terms, bail bonds, and the like are surely going to be big, hot button GOP issues, especially in war- torn Albuquerque. Crime will sell next year, especially in the era of half-truth mailers and push polls. Some of the Democratic senators  have vulnerable records on everything from child porn, domestic violence, stalking, DWI, DNA-testing, and even animal cruelty. It wouldn't surprise me if the R's don't resurrect the Democrats' repeal of the death penalty as well. It won't be pretty.

Thanks, Steve. As someone recently opined, the '16 campaign will be so ugly it will give Freddy Kruegger nightmares.

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