September 22, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sharon Kayne, Communications Director, NM Voices for Children, 505-244-9505
ALBUQUERQUE—The poverty rate for New Mexico climbed by two percentage points between 2009 and 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which released new data from its American Community Survey today. During this same time frame, the employment rate decreased by two percentage points.
The poverty rate for New Mexico went from 18 percent to just over 20 percent, while employment—specifically the rate of persons over the age of 16 who have a job—fell from 56 to 54 percent.
Median household income fell almost $1,000 during that time period—even when adjusted for inflation. The rate of New Mexicans without health insurance—at about 20 percent—showed no significant change, but there were other trends in health insurance coverage. A higher percentage of New Mexicans are getting their health insurance from the public sector while a smaller percentage is getting it from the private sector.
“What these health insurance numbers are telling us is that New Mexicans who receive health insurance through their private-sector employers are losing that coverage when those jobs disappear or their employers drop coverage to save money,” said Gerry Bradley, Research Director for NM Voices for Children. “On the other hand, those who now qualify for Medicare because they fell into deep poverty are able to receive health insurance benefits regardless of how the economy is faring.”
According to Bradley, the worsening economic trends are due to the ongoing recession.
New Mexico Voices for Children is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization advocating for policies to improve the health and well-being of New Mexico’s children, families and communities.
2340 Alamo SE, Suite 120, Albuquerque, NM 87106-3523; 505-244-9505 (p); www.nmvoices.org