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NM unemployment drops to 5.1 percent

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s unemployment rate continued to drop in May, falling to 5.1 percent, down from 5.4 percent in April, the largest percentage decrease of any state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The state’s unemployment rate was down from 6.2 percent a year earlier. That drop, too, was the largest in the nation.

However, New Mexico’s rate was still the third-highest among the states, below Alaska at 7.2 percent and West Virginia at 5.4 percent. Washington, D.C., at 5.6 percent also had a higher rate than New Mexico.

The national unemployment rate for the month was 3.8 percent.

The number of nonagricultural jobs grew by 13,800 jobs, or 1.7 percent, year over year. Nearly all of the the increase came from the private sector, which was up 13,600 jobs.

The biggest gains were in professional and business services (3,800 jobs, or 3.7 percent); leisure and hospitality (3,400 jobs, or 3.5 percent); and mining and construction (3,200 jobs, or 4.8 percent). That last category includes construction (up 2,900 jobs, or 6.4 percent) and mining, which includes oil and gas (up 300 jobs, or 1.5 percent).

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