NM Braces For Automatic Spending Cuts

Mar 1, 2013

Santa Fe, Roswell and Hobbs could lose their airport control towers. Thousands of federal workers and contractors in New Mexico face unpaid furloughs. And programs that fund everything from education and the environment to meals for the elderly could be hit by automatic budget cuts set to take effect Friday.

Many of the immediate and long-term impacts remain unclear. But New Mexico — with its strong economic dependence on federal labs and the military — stands to be one of the states most affected.

New Mexico State University economist Chris Erickson says 4 percent of the state's workers are federal employees — twice the national average. And federal spending makes up 12 percent of New Mexico's gross state product.

If Congress leaves the budget-cutting plan in place for the long-term, he estimates it will cost New Mexico 28,000 jobs.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.