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Survey by Navajo Nation economist shows more than half of Hardship Assistance recipients spent money off reservation

Alisha Murphy, economist with the Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development
Navajo Nation

A survey analyzing consumer spending habits of Hardship Assistance recipients on the Navajo Nation shows more than half the money has been spent off the reservation.

The ongoing survey is being conducted by Alisha Murphy, a doctoral student in economic development at New Mexico State University.

She was hired in November, 2021, as the Navajo Nation’s first-ever economist in the Division of Economic development.

Murphy hopes the survey will identify consumer spending habits among Hardship Assistance recipients and show which businesses and services are lacking on the Navajo Nation.

According to the Navajo Times, 1,000 tribal members have completed the online survey so far. Participation is open until February 28th, at It is voluntary and responses will be kept anonymous.