The UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) is rolling out a new interactive dashboard and podcast, just in time to entertain and educate people stuck at home during the COVID-19 quarantine.

Enchanting Economics in New Mexico” is the podcast, hosted by RaeAnn McKernan and Sarun Luitel. The duo talk to local experts about important economic issues facing New Mexico, like the 2020 Census and COVID-19 quarantine.

“We’re hoping this is a way to engage people in the topics that are important to our state, but might otherwise seem dry or unappealing,” said McKernan. “Many people wonder why they should care about the Census, or what New Mexico will look like following this quarantine. Those are the types of questions our experts at BBER are looking at every day.”

Since being founded n 1945, BBER has been the state’s leading center of socioeconomic data and forecasting. It curates datasets and research to help State and local governments, business leaders, non-profit organizations and community leaders identify and understand economic trends that are shaping the state of New Mexico.

“Our research and data look beyond the current conditions to determine trends and future forecasting,” said Jeff Mitchell, director of BBER. “We’re already capable of processing large sets of data, so it makes sense that we would make that information available to the public, especially during times like these. People are uncertain what the economy is going to look like when all this is done, and we’re hoping to help them make informed decisions.”

To do that, BBER created a dashboard that will track COVID-19 effects on New Mexico’s economic data. They are using a whole list of indicators, including:

Stock market – several indicators of the financial impacts on the economy.
Unemployment Insurance Claims – an indicator of how many workers are negatively impacted by the current effects of COVID-19.
Unemployment numbers and rate – an indicator of how the labor markets are being affected.
Current Employment Survey (CES) – level of employment indicates the magnitude of how the labor force is faring.  
Rigs – Number of Oil Well Rigs currently in production is an indicator on the impact on state government budget as oil revenues are about a third of the state's general fund.
Airport – Number of passengers through the support indicator of Business and Tourism travel.
Hotels – Occupancy Rate indicator of tourism.
Cornavirus Stats are an indicator of direct impacts on New Mexicans.

Note on frequency of statistics:

S&P 500 average (Daily)
U.S. Unemployment Insurance Claims (Weekly)
U.S. Unemployment Rate (Monthly)

N.M. Unemployment Insurance Claims (Weekly)
N.M. Unemployment Rate (Monthly)
N.M. Employment growth (Monthly)

Oil Prices,  West Texas Intermediate (Daily)
NM Active Drill Rigs (Weekly)

ABQ Sunport Deplane Counts (Monthly)
Hotel Vacancy Rates (Monthly)
Lodgers Tax Collections (Monthly)

N.M. Covid-19 Tests (Daily)
N.M. Covid-19 Tests - Positive (Daily)
N.M. Covid-19 Deaths (Daily)