WyBETT
                             Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
WyBETT   Wyomingites for a Better Economy Today and Tomorrow
 
 Casino Unemployment

Among the many promises that the casinos have made, they assured New Mexico that casinos would create jobs, improve economic development and be "Good For New Mexico." Most people, hearing these promises, would assume that this would mean that casinos would reduce unemployment. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

According to New Mexico Department of Labor figures covering January 1994 to October 1996, the period during which casinos have been operating under the invalid compacts signed by Governor Johnson, casino activity corresponds to a net increase in unemployment for New Mexico at the same time the nation as a whole is enjoying a net decrease in unemployment.

Unemployment did go down during 1994 from 7.1% to 6.3% as some casino workers got new jobs, also corresponding to a previous trend in New Mexico of reducing unemployment. The unemployment rate stayed at 6.3% during 1995, although, according to casino statements, thousands of casino employees were added to the state labor force.

BY OCTOBER 1996, HOWEVER, THE STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE INCREASED TO AN AVERAGE FOR THE YEAR OF 7.0. THIS REPRESENTS AN INCREASE OF OVER 11% MORE UNEMPLOYED THAN IN 1995.

THE CASINOS HAVE PROMISED THAT CASINO ACTIVITY WOULD IMPROVE NEW MEXICO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT.

CASINO OPPONENTS HAVE PREDICTED THAT THE CASINOS WOULD BE HARMFUL TO THE NEW MEXICO ECONOMY.

WHO HAS BEEN RIGHT ON THE ECONOMY ISSUE?