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Jobless rate rises to 6.8% in Feb.

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Unemployment climbed in New Mexico from 6.6 percent in February to a seasonally-adjusted 6.8 percent in February, the state Workforce Solutions Department reported Friday.

The January 2012 unemployment rate was 7 percent.

New Mexico added 5,600 jobs between February 2012 and last month, a 0.7 percent growth rate.

Among the 13 industries the department tracks:

⋄  The leisure and hospitality sector added 2,600 jobs in the period and financial activities added 1,800 jobs.

⋄  The department reported that while the educational and health services added 1,000 jobs, “it is not as many as this industry typically adds.”

⋄  The government sector lost 900 jobs, all of them at the federal level. Manufacturing lost 500 jobs.

The Albuquerque metropolitan statistical area recorded a 7.5 percent unemployment rate in February, up from 7.2 percent in January and down from 7.8 percent in February 2012.

Farmington’s unemployment rate was 7.2 percent, up from 6.9 percent last month and down from 7.3 percent a year ago.

Las Cruces recorded an 8 percent rate, up from 7.6 percent both in January and a year ago.

Santa Fe unemployment was 6 percent, up from 5.6 percent in January and unchanged from February 2012.

At 20 percent, Luna County recorded the state’s worst unemployment rate, followed by Mora County at 15 percent. Los Alamos and Eddy counties notched the lowest unemployment rates: 4.2 percent.
— This article appeared on page B01 of the Albuquerque Journal

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