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ABQ jobless rate ticks up, more people looking for work

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The Albuquerque area’s unemployment rate in May was up slightly from April but significantly lower than in May 2012.

The Labor Department reported Albuquerque’s unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in May, up from 6.4 percent in April and down from 7.2 percent in May 2012.

The department says rates rose in 243 of the nation’s 372 largest cities as steady hiring encouraged more of those out of work to look for jobs. Rates fell in 109 and were unchanged in 20. Nationally, the unemployment rate rose to 7.6 percent in May from 7.5 percent, as more people launched job searches. The government doesn’t count people as unemployed unless they are looking for jobs.

New Mexico’s unemployment rate was 6.4 percent. Most of the biggest increases in unemployment rates were in cities with large universities, where the end of the academic year likely caused many residents to look for summer jobs. The report isn’t adjusted for such seasonal patterns. Thirty-seven cities had unemployment rates of less than 5 percent. That’s up from 29 a year ago.

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