As the largest industry in Lea County, employing over 8,000 people, mining sits at the forefront of the economy. Much of the mining is related to oil and gas, through drilling and extraction. For nearly ninety years, oil and gas has been the backbone of Lea County, but diversification in mining comes now from a wealth of potash, a highly potent fertilizer, found in Lea County. Potash was first discovered in the 1920s, and Southeastern New Mexico has the largest concentration in the country.

Average weekly wage: $1,415 (3rd quarter 2014)

Gross Receipts Tax (GRT) from 2008-present

2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 (YTD-Aug)
Mining and Oil & Gas Extraction $216,543,159 $477,074,531 $851,926,529 $1,383,104,796 $3,854,397,773 $3,588,410,823 $1,087,492,723

Source: New Mexico Department of Taxation & Revenue