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NM unemployment dips to 5.9 percent

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s unemployment rate fell slightly in January, to 5.9 percent, as it continued its ranking as second-worst in the nation behind Alaska, according to state figures released Monday.

The state’s unemployment rate was 6 percent in December and 6.5 percent in January 2017.

The total number of jobs in New Mexico was up by 7,000, or 0.9 percent, compared to a year ago, with all of them in the private sector. Government employment fell by 0.5 percent, according to the Department of Workforce Solutions.

Construction continued its hold on the top growth spot for jobs, increasing by 9.6 percent, or 4,100 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector saw the second-largest numeric growth, for an increase of 1,300 jobs or 1.4 percent. Manufacturing was up, as well, by 3.1 percent.

Nationwide, Alaska had the highest unemployment rate at 7.3 percent, while Hawaii’s was the lowest at 2.1 percent. Three states set new lows between January 2017 and January 2018: Alabama, 3.7 percent; California, 4.4 percent; Maine, 3 percent, and Mississippi, 4.6 percent.

The national unemployment rate was unchanged from December at 4.1 percent.