Today, Ball State University's

released its

on how favorable each state is for manufacturing and logistics business. With

scores ranging from bad to abysmal

—3 F's, 3 D's, 2 C's and an incongruous A (for "benefit costs")—New Mexico might have to forget about being big industry's next suitor.


Let's start with the positive:

New Mexico was one of just four states that received an A for benefit costs. According to the study, these are "non-wage labor costs": health insurance, workers compensation "and other costs such as retirement and other fringe benefits."

Low benefit costs, then, are a perverse advantage: They're a boon for employers, but not always for workers. According to the US Census Bureau, the Southwest has

the lowest percentage in every category

of workers with access to retirement and health care benefits—which seems to eliminate the dubious possibility that New Mexico's just more efficient with the money we do spend on benefits.

Check out

New Mexico's worst rankings below.

Global Reach

The Ball State study defines global reach as "the level of international exports and imports." Basically, it's a measure of how often (and how successfully) New Mexico does business with the rest of the world.

Answer: we don't. Even as a border state, New Mexico ranks below 47 other states in this category.


If you've ever had an investment portfolio—or even if you've ever been cautioned not to put all your eggs in one basket—you know the value of diversification. Diversified industry means that when, say, oil and gas revenues decline, your

When it comes to manufacturing and logistics, we don't have it.

Human Capital

Failure here is perhaps the report's saddest commentary on New Mexico. To wit: "Our human capital measurements include

rankings of educational attainment

at the high school and collegiate level, the

first year retention rate

of adults in community and technical colleges, the

number of associates degrees

awarded annually on a per capita basis and the

share of adults (25 years and older) enrolled in adult basic education."

One more reason to revamp New Mexico's education system? The list of

other states with shoddy human capital: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and West Virginia.

All images courtesy Ball State University.