Copyright © 2019 Albuquerque Journal
The more than 24,000 jobs supported by Los Alamos National Laboratory is nearly equal to the number produced by New Mexico’s manufacturing sector as a whole, and spending by the lab and its workers account for an economic output of $3.1 billion per year.
That’s according to a recently released study conducted by the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research, which analyzed payroll records, procurement records and spending data from fiscal years 2016 to 2018.
The analysis showed that LANL was responsible for 24,169 jobs in New Mexico – 14,754 of them employees of LANL or lab contractors, according to a Thursday news release from the New Mexico Economic Development Department. The other 9,415 jobs were the result of LANL’s spending for procurement and spending by employees and their families. The state’s manufacturing sector produced 26,398 jobs.
“The LANL analysis shows how important it is to retain and attract high-paying jobs to New Mexico,” the state’s Economic Development Department Cabinet secretary, Alicia Keyes, said in the news release. “The salary and spending from employees at the federal laboratories creates thousands of other jobs at businesses across the state and those incomes help families build stability and wealth.”
The average salary of a LANL employee was $112,386 in fiscal year 2017, according to the report. LANL employees accounted for $1.46 billion in direct payroll spending.
The study showed that over the three-year period LANL spent $752 million on goods and services, with just over half of that from New Mexico-based businesses.
“Part of being a good neighbor is bolstering the economic well-being of the communities where we live and operate,” said LANL Director Thom Mason. “We’re gratified how this report underlines the Laboratory’s role as a major employer, a strong contributor to the state’s economy and a supporter of New Mexico’s businesses.”