Economic Security and Prosperity2022-08-08T11:17:17-06:00

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 is Putting Families First in Tax Policy

Our state’s policy makers made a number of improvements to the tax code since 2019 that will help low- and middle-income New Mexicans, improve equity, and increase economic opportunity for our working families.

 

Eligible but Excluded: How Systemic Inequities in Language Access are Impacting Asian, Pacific Islander, and African Immigrant and Refugee Communities During the Pandemic

A follow-up to our Essential but Excluded report, this looks at how Asian/Pacific Islander and African immigrants and refugees are unable to access public benefits for which they are eligible – and not just during the pandemic – due to a pervasive lack of language access at many state agencies. This, despite federal laws requiring such access.

Tax Policy: A Powerful Tool to Advance Racial Equity in New Mexico

Systemic racism isn’t accidental – it’s the result of public policies that benefit one group while disadvantaging others. Our state and national tax systems have been built to benefit those at the top (who are mostly white) while disadvantaging people of color. This report looks at concrete ways New Mexico can make our tax system more equitable.

Recent Publications

New Mexico 2022 KIDS COUNT profile

August 8th, 2022|

State Data Sheet The national 2022 KIDS COUNT Data Book, released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, assesses and ranks the 50 states on 16 indicators of child well-being, which are categorized into four domains - economic well-being, education, health, and family and community. New Mexico placed 50th in 2022. (State-level data on indicators of child well-being)

New Mexico is Putting Families First in Tax Policy

June 8th, 2022|

Fact Sheet Our state’s policy makers made a number of improvements to the tax code since 2019 that will help low- and middle-income New Mexicans, improve equity, and increase economic opportunity for our working families. (State-level data on how recent tax changes will benefit families)

All Publications

Recent Blog Posts

Inflation Reduction Act raises more revenue for NM schools

August 30th, 2022|

There is plenty to celebrate in the landmark Investment Reduction Act. New Mexicans will benefit with lower energy costs, good-paying jobs, more energy-efficient homes and businesses, cleaner air, funding for wildfire prevention and drought preparedness, and much more.

New Mexico can move forward on education with heart

August 21st, 2022|

New Mexico voters can also take action by voting Yes on Constitutional Amendment 1 on the ballot in November. Constitutional Amendment 1 would draw down a small portion of the $26 billion permanent school fund to support high-quality early childhood care and education services — such as home visiting and pre-kindergarten — and services for at-risk students.

All Blog Posts

Recent News Coverage

Child care facilities offer new possibilities for some state workers

September 20th, 2022|

“Certainly during the pandemic we saw what a lack of access to child care can do to families and workers and to the workforce and economy,” said Wallin. She said without reliable access to child care programs, many parents — mothers in particular — ended up dropping out of the workforce to care for their kids at home. Child care is “one of the keys to supporting the workforce and economic recovery,” she said.

Data: Child poverty rate in N.M. dipped amid pandemic

September 16th, 2022|

“A lot of the states can expect to see these improvements fade over time as the federal programs expire, but New Mexico should see lasting improvement from policy changes made over the last few years,” said Amber Wallin, executive director of New Mexico Voices for Children.

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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