But with oil companies shedding thousands of workers, a high ratio of oil and gas employment to the overall labor force has become a liability for some states.
New Mexico's labor exposure to the energy sector relative to the national norm is roughly on par with Texas'. Both employ about 2.6 times more oil workers than the U.S. average. But that still leaves the states in a better position than Wyoming, where energy employment is 13 times above the average.
New Mexico is also less dependent on tax revenue from oil and gas taxes — known as severance tax — than some other top oil-producing states.
Income from severance tax accounted for about one-sixth of that state's overall tax revenue in 2014. Compare that to Alaska, which derives more than two-thirds of its revenues from state levies on hydrocarbon extraction.
To be sure, the share does not cover the oil and gas industry's total impact on New Mexico's state finances. Contributions from the industry accounted for 35 percent of New Mexico's revenues at the peak in 2014, according to the state economic development officials.