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NM jobless rate rises, state gains 8,800 jobs year over year

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New Mexico added 8,800 jobs between July 2012 and last month, a 1.1 percent increase that the state Workforce Solutions Department said indicates improved conditions in the job market.

The state unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in July, up from 6.8 percent in June but down from 7 percent a year ago.

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The Albuquerque metropolitan statistical area added about 1,400 jobs year-over-year in July and had an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent, down from 8.3 percent a year ago.

Workforce Solutions cautioned the MSA numbers, unlike the state-level data, are not seasonally adjusted and could be revised. The department will release a detailed analysis of state and local job markets Friday.

Nine of the 13 industries Workforce Solutions tracks added jobs in New Mexico over the past 12 months. Employment gains were largest in the leisure and hospitality industry, which added 4,500 jobs. Educational and health services added 3,200 jobs, and construction gained 1,800 jobs.

Manufacturing lost 1,000 jobs in the 12-month period, and government employment dropped by 3,700 jobs, most of them in local government.

Across the country, unemployment rates increased in 28 states in July, they were unchanged in 14 and fell in eight states, according to the federal Department of Labor.

Hiring increased in 32 states in July compared with June, the fewest to report job gains in three months. Seventeen states reported job losses. California, Georgia and Florida reported the largest job gains, while New Jersey and Nevada lost the most.

Nationwide, hiring has been steady this year but slowed in July. Employers added 162,000 jobs, the fewest since March. The unemployment rate fell to 7.4 percent, a 4½-year low, from 7.6 percent.

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