With the federal government owning more than a third of the land in New Mexico, cutbacks in government spending have an outsized impact on the state.
The Forest Service, the Air Force, and the Department of Energy all have big operations in the state, said Lee Reynis, director of the state's Bureau of Businesses and Economic Research. Real estate, mining and construction are other areas that dragged on the state's growth in 2012.
"We've just had a really hard time getting off the ground," said Reynis, "whereas most of our neighbors are doing quite well."
North Dakota once again tops the list of the nation's fastest-growing states, thanks to its energy boom.
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