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For ABQ, April 2,700 jobs richer over April ’12

Melissa Veleta, right, of Sitel, offers information to a job seeker at the Gobs of Jobs Fair on May 14. (Journal file)
Melissa Veleta, right, of Sitel, offers information to a job seeker at the Gobs of Jobs Fair on May 14. (Journal file)
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Metro’s unemployment rate dips to 6.4%, down from 7.1% in March to

The Albuquerque metro area added 2,700 jobs in April 2013 compared to April 2012, according to seasonally unadjusted data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday.

The area’s April unemployment rate was 6.4 percent, down from 7.1 percent in March and 6.9 percent in April 2012. Albuquerque’s civilian labor force grew in the 12-month period ending in April from 396,400 to 400,800.

BLS reported earlier this month that New Mexico added 7,900 jobs and its unemployment rate dropped to 6.2 percent from 6.9 percent in March and 6.5 percent in April 2012.

The Farmington area added 100 jobs year-over-year in April. Las Cruces lost 600 jobs, and employment in Santa Fe was unchanged.

Unemployment rates fell in almost all large U.S. cities in April, helped by stronger hiring. The gains show the job market is improving throughout the country.

BLS said that unemployment rates declined in 344 of the 372 largest metro areas. Rates rose in just 17 cities and were unchanged in 11.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped in April to a four-year low of 7.5 percent, down from 7.6 percent in March. Employers have added an average of 208,000 jobs each month in the past six months. That’s up from just 138,000 in the previous six.

The metro unemployment data aren’t seasonally adjusted for seasonal trends, and as a result, can be more volatile than the national data.

Still, the broader trend across cities has improved in the past year. Overall, 48 cities had rates of less than 5 percent. That’s up from 32 a year earlier. Only 26 cities had rates of 10 percent or higher, down from 41 in April 2012.

Midland, Texas, posted the nation’s lowest rate, at 3 percent. It was followed by Iowa City, Iowa, and Bismarck, N.D., both at 3.1 percent.

Yuma, Ariz., had the nation’s highest rate, at 30.3 percent, followed by El Centro, Calif., with 24 percent. Both cities have long had the highest rates in the country. They are adjacent and have heavy populations of migrant farm workers.

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