New Mexico added 4,300 jobs between July 2013 and July 2014, a 0.5 percent increase. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rose to 6.6 percent in July from 6.5 percent in June. The unemployment rate was 7 percent a year ago.
The national unemployment rate was 6.2 percent in July. The rate of joblessness rose in 30 states, even though hiring increased in two thirds of the states. The nation added 209,000 jobs year-over-year.
The unemployment rate can rise even as hiring increases because improving job prospects encourage people who had abandoned their job search to start looking again. People aren’t counted as unemployed unless they are actively looking for work.
Preliminary data show the Albuquerque area lost 2,100 between July 2013 and last month. However, the 2014 data have not been seasonally adjusted and could be revised.
Employment growth in New Mexico was driven by a surge in education and health services hiring. That sector added 5,000 jobs, a 4.1 percent increase over the past 12 months. Financial activities gained 1,600 jobs, a 4.8 percent increase. Retail trade, which has been growing consistently since September 2011, added 1,200 jobs.
Manufacturing reported year-over-year job losses for the 21st month. The sector declined 6.8 percent, or 2,000 jobs. Business and professional services employment was down 1,500 jobs.
In all, six private-sector job categories gained jobs and seven lost, while government employment declined by 800 jobs.
Mississippi had the nation’s highest unemployment rate, at 8 percent. North Dakota had the lowest rate, 2.8 percent.