Economic Security and Prosperity2019-02-05T14:17:49-07:00

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’s Working Families Tax Credit and the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit

Tax credits for low- and moderate-income working families are a common-sense way to spur economic activity by putting money into the hands of consumers who will spend it. They also are an effective way to lift working families out of poverty. These are just some of the reasons New Mexico should increase its Working Families Tax Credit.
 

Improving College Affordability to Support New Mexico’s Education, Workforce, and Economic Goals

New Mexico is a poor state, yet little of our state-based financial aid goes to students who can’t attend college without monetary assistance. This report looks at the state’s financial aid structure — how much money is awarded and where it goes — and makes recommendations for policies to improve financial aid that’s awarded on the basis of need. (A Working Poor Families Project report)
 

Investing in a Healthier New Mexico: The Economic and Fiscal Benefits of the Medicaid Expansion in New Mexico

The Medicaid expansion, as part of the Affordable Care Act, has been very good for New Mexico. Not only are tens of thousands of New Mexicans able to access health care, the program has brought billions into the state that has created thousands of jobs, economic activity, and tax revenue. (Report)

Recent Publications

The Impact of COVID-19 on Children’s Well-Being in New Mexico

September 1st, 2020|

Fact sheet COVID-19 and the resulting recession have caused great hardship for many New Mexico children and their families. This fact sheet looks at some of the areas where children have been impacted, including their economic and food security, and education. (State-level data on various indicators of child well-being)

124,000 New Mexicans Could Miss Out on Federal Stimulus Payments

July 30th, 2020|

Fact sheet The stimulus checks that went out as part of the federal COVID-19 relief can have a positive impact on the lives of individuals and families most impacted by the pandemic, providing money to help them pay bills, cover necessary expenses, and pay for the things they need most right now. The money would also give state and local economies a much-needed boost.

All Publications

Recent Blog Posts

COVID-19: 3 Policy Principles to Advance Equity

July 6th, 2020|

Over the past few months, the resiliency and strength of communities all across New Mexico have been in full view as people come together to support each other through the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, the pandemic has caused disproportionate harm to communities of color, worsening disparities in health and economic well-being. Just as public policies entrenched systemic racism, they can be used to dismantle it.

Investing in all New Mexicans will lead us to a quicker, more equitable recovery

May 13th, 2020|

During this public health emergency, New Mexico needs to do all it can to shore up essential services, take care of frontline workers, and extend a hand to New Mexicans who are sick, unable to work, or struggling to provide for their families. But falling tax revenue has put at risk New Mexico’s ability to protect our communities. While the path forward won’t be easy, lawmakers can steer us toward an equitable recovery by putting families first.

All Blog Posts

Recent News Coverage

Former UNM professor: ‘People are ready’ to address racism

August 8th, 2020|

During a talk Thursday night sponsored by Albuquerque-based New Mexico Voices for Children, Harris, a longtime New Mexico resident, said he wonders how far along the U.S. has come since 1968, when the group released its findings. He noted the civil, racial and political unrest in the nation this year in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed during a May 25 arrest in Minneapolis.

A Youth Climate Movement Rises in Northern New Mexico

August 4th, 2020|

“What is the kind of state that we want to create for our children now and our grandchildren and great grandchildren?” he said. “What are the ways we need to invest in New Mexico’s people in order to make that desired future happen?”

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
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