NM's Surging Brewing Industry

There have been some bright spots in New Mexico's stagnant economy over the past several years. The education and health services industry sector has added jobs like crazy and was the only segment of the economy to grow during the recession.

But, the brewery sector has exploded as well, although it represents a tiny part of the total economy.

Since 2006, the number of breweries in New Mexico has grown from five to 33 – a 560 percent increase - and the number of people employed at breweries has increased from 164 people in 2010 to 564 last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The explosion of breweries here is part of a national trend as America has become awash in craft brews. In 2006 there were 398 breweries in the nation. By 2016 that had soared to 2,834, a 610 percent increase.

And the number of people employed by breweries has grown from 24,864 in 2010 to 58,582 in 2016. That's a 135 percent increase.

The bad news about the brewing industry is that the average weekly wage for brewery workers has fallen by 25 percent since 2006, from $1,293 to $969, according to the BLS.

California has the most breweries at 333, followed by Colorado at 204, and Washington at 189.

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