New Mexico added 6,900 jobs between August 2012 and August 2013, thanks in part to a 4,400-job gain in the leisure and hospitality industry, the state Department of Workforce Solutions reported Friday.
New Mexico’s unemployment rate dipped slightly to 6.8 percent in August from 6.9 percent in July, making it one of 17 states that saw lower rates month-over-month.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.3 percent.
New Mexico’s construction industry “continued a five-month growth trend to report the best over-the-year numbers since 2006” by adding 1,900 jobs, “a notable improvement but still thousands of jobs below peak levels,” the department reported.
The educational and health services industry added 3,600 jobs, and financial activities added 1,900.
Total government employment declined by 3,100 jobs over the 12-month period. A 2,000-job decline in local government employment “is likely a result of changing seasonal patterns that will settle by the time school employment fully returns in September,” Workforce Solutions said.
Employment also declined in the manufacturing, wholesale trade, information and other services sectors.
Unemployment rates rose in 18 states in August. Employers added jobs in 29 states, the fewest since March, and 20 states reported job losses, the most since March.
Nationally, the economy added 169,000 jobs in August.
The tepid hiring gains mean most states still have fewer jobs than they did when the recession began in December 2007. Overall, the United States still has 1.9 million fewer jobs than before the recession.
Hiring has averaged just 155,000 a month since April. That’s down from an average of 205,000 in the first four months of the year.