Economic Security and Prosperity 2018-06-24T14:06:35+00:00

Economic Security and Prosperity

The economy should work for everyone, not just a select few. But for New Mexicans who lack job skills and education, and work in low-wage jobs with little hope for advancement, economic security is just a dream. Long-term economic prosperity involves promoting economic and workforce development opportunities for all New Mexicans, as well as supporting access to adequate wage and work supports for those in crisis and those who are unable to work.

Featured Content

New Mexico Kids at the Crossroads

With the highest rate of child poverty in the nation, New Mexico is not providing the opportunities our children need to succeed. But the good news is that we can improve opportunities for New Mexico’s kids through public policy. This children’s agenda for candidates provides 30 policy recommendations that will help improve child well-being. (Policy brief)
 

2017KCDB_badge1_400pxA Blueprint for a Prosperous State

Prosperity requires investments. You can’t grow a garden without good soil, water, and some hard work. Same with a state—you can’t have prosperity without resources, infrastructure, and a skilled workforce. But New Mexico has tried to cut its way to prosperity and it hasn’t worked. This brief offers recommendations for raising revenue so we can invest in our state and its people. (Policy brief)
 

2017KCDB_badge1_400pxNM’s Working Families Tax Credit

In New Mexico, the Working Families Tax Credit is one of the most sensible parts of our tax code: it encourages work, helps to raise hard-working families out of poverty, and benefits almost 300,000 children, while also pumping millions back into local communities. Increasing the credit is a smart investment in our businesses, working families, and future. (A Working Poor Families Project report)

Recent Publications

New Mexico’s 2018 KIDS COUNT profile

June 27th, 2018|

New Mexico has fallen to 50th in the nation in child well-being after ranking 49th for the past four years. This state profile shows how our children are faring on the 16 indicators of child well-being used in the national KIDS COUNT rankings. (State profile; state-level data on indicators of child well-being)

The Well-Being of Black Children in New Mexico

June 21st, 2018|

Child poverty in New Mexico is among the worst in the nation and disparities exist within all indicators of child well-being for children of color. Although our state's Black children are generally faring better than Black children nationally, they still face significant obstacles to success. This report, created in partnership with the NM Office of African American Affairs, looks at how New Mexico's Black children are doing on some 20 indicators of child well-being. (A special KIDS COUNT report; state-, county-, and school-district-level data on indicators of child well-being)

All Publications

Recent Blog Posts

The devastating math of the child care cliff effect

May 11th, 2018|

Imagine having to turn down a raise in pay because it will actually make you less financially secure. Sounds crazy, but that's what many working parents have to do--and just when they're making headway in the quest to provide their family with economic stability. It's all due to the "cliff effect" and, in New Mexico, the cliff effect for child care assistance can throw families who get even a small raise right back into poverty.

It’s time for us to invest in what works

February 6th, 2018|

Bill Jordan spoke at the Second Annual People's Rally. His comments are posted here. "Our years of austerity just so that the rich and well-connected can get tax cuts ― those days are over! It’s time for us to invest in what works. It’s time to invest in New Mexico."

All Blog Posts

Recent News Coverage

Keep NM kids in mind when you vote this year

June 30th, 2018|

Officials with New Mexico Voices for Children, which partners on the survey, point to a decline in state funding as the cause for many of these problems. Deputy Director Amber Wallin said the state has passed 37 tax cuts since 2008; has reduced per-pupil funding for schools and money for higher education; and has cut back on the number of school-based health centers.

New Mexico ranks 50th in Kids Count report

June 27th, 2018|

Four factors determine the Kids Count rankings: education, health, economic well-being, and family and community. The non-profit organization NM Voices for Children says changes to the state’s health data played a major role in moving New Mexico from 49th to 50th.

All news coverage

Current Initiatives

Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) is a national initiative focused on strengthening state workforce development policies as a way of reducing poverty for working families. One way to address poverty among working Americans is with so-called ‘work supports,’ which help stabilize low-wage workers while assisting their climb up the job ladder. Work supports include child care assistance, health care coverage, funding for adult basic education and community college attendance, and unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.

Fiscal Policy Project, our program focusing on tax and budget policy, also covers work supports and wage issues.

Resources

A Basic Family Budget Calculator is an important tool in determining if a family lives in poverty, because the system currently in place to do that is completely outdated.

Federal poverty guidelines, which dictate whether a family is eligible to receive assistance such as Medicaid and Food Stamps, are tied to a formula that was created in the 1960s. It was based on what the typical family spent on groceries because that was a family’s biggest expense at the time. Today, necessities like housing, childcare and health care take up a far greater share of most family incomes than groceries. Not only do the guidelines not take these changes into account, they do not take into account regional differences in the cost of living.

Because the federal guidelines are so inaccurate, families are generally considered low-income when they earn up to twice (or 200 percent) the poverty level. This makes up for some shortfalls in the guidelines, but they are still nowhere near as accurate as a Basic Family Budget.

  • Click here to find out the minimum amount families need to earn in order to live at a basic, no-frills level in New Mexico’s cities and counties