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NM unemployment still among highest in nation

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico still has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, according to U.S. Department of Labor figures released Friday.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the state’s November jobless rate was 6.1 percent, the same as October. A year ago, it was 6.7 percent.

New Mexico’s unemployment was higher than all other states except Alaska, which continued to have the country’s worst unemployment rate at 7.2 percent. The District of Columbia’s rate, 6.4 percent, was between that of New Mexico and Alaska.

Hawaii’s rate was the lowest in the nation at 2 percent.

The U.S. jobless rate was 4.1 percent, unchanged from the month prior and 0.5 percentage points lower than the same time the year before.

According to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, the number of jobs in the state grew by 1.1 percent compared to November 2016.

The gains were entirely in the private sector; government jobs continued to decline.

The construction industry was the biggest contributor to the increase, adding 3,000 jobs or 6.7 percent year-over-year. Other industries that saw job gains were leisure and hospitality (2,600 jobs; 2.7 percent); professional and business services (2,000 jobs; 2.0 percent); financial activities (1,600 jobs; 4.8 percent); education and health services (1,600 jobs; 1.1 percent); health care and social assistance (100 jobs; 0.1 percent); transportation, warehousing, and utilities (1,400 jobs; 5.6 percent); retail trade (800 jobs; 0.8 percent); wholesale trade (100 jobs, 0.5 percent); and miscellaneous other services (300 jobs; 1.0 percent).

Some private sector industries experienced job losses or remained flat. Employment in mining, which includes the oil and gas industry, fell by 600 jobs or 3.2 percent. Information lost 200 jobs or 1.5 percent. Manufacturing remained unchanged.