AFRL Releases Economic Impact Report

Senators Tom Udall & Martin Heinrich join AFRL officials to announce economic impact numbers. 

Senators Tom Udall & Martin Heinrich join AFRL officials to announce economic impact numbers. 

ALBUQUERQUE-Air Force Research Laboratory officials, joined by Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich, today released new figures showing just how important the Air Force Research Lab is to New Mexico’s economy. According to the University of New Mexico report, AFRL New Mexico has an economic impact to the state of $536 million and supports more than 3700 jobs.

AFRL New Mexico consists of two directorates—Directed Energy and Space Vehicles. They are two of AFRL’s nine technical directorates located nationwide.

AFRL New Mexico contracted The University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research to compile the economic impact study based on its spending in New Mexico. Using fiscal year 2013 figures, the study found AFRL directly spent $315 million in New Mexico on employee salaries and benefits, purchases of goods and services, construction and contracts with New Mexico businesses. More than half of that—$167 million—was spent on outside contractors.

In addition, the study found AFRL’s investment in New Mexico had an indirect impact to the state of an additional $221 million.

“AFRL New Mexico is proud that our research and development activities are having a significant impact to the overall health of our state’s economy,” Col. David Goldstein, Director of the Space Vehicle’s Directorate said. “Not only do we have some of the best and brightest scientists and engineers on staff, but we contract out a significant amount of our overall budget to industry helping to build and support a high-tech private sector.”

The study found AFRL has a tremendous employment impact in New Mexico, creating 861 direct jobs plus 1,033 contractor jobs and 1,820 indirect jobs in the private sector.

It is estimated that the total tax revenues to the State in FY13 as a result of the spending by AFRL amounted to $30.6 million consisting of $19.7 million in GRT, $7.8 million in personal income tax, and $3.2 million in property tax.

About Air Force Research Laboratory:

Air Force Research Laboratory is the Air Force’s only organization wholly dedicated to leading the discovery, development and integration of warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace. AFRL is comprised of nine technical directorates located across the country. AFRL New Mexico is the proud home of two of those directorates: Directed Energy and Space Vehicles.

Our Technology Engagement Office works with businesses, big and small, who are interested in partnering with AFRL. More information is available at