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NM unemployment drops again

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s unemployment rate continued to improve in August, ticking down to 4.6 percent.

That is down from 4.7 percent in July and from 6 percent in August 2017.

The national unemployment rate was unchanged from July at 3.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Four states — Alaska, West Virginia, Louisiana and Mississippi —and the District of Columbia all had higher unemployment rates than New Mexico. Hawaii continued to have the lowest in the nation at 2.1 percent and Alaska the highest at 6.7 percent.

New Mexico added 16,000 jobs from a year ago, up 1.9 percent. Leisure and hospitality continued as the primary bright spot, adding 5,500 jobs over the year, or 5.6 percent, according to the state Department of Workforce Solutions. But other sectors and industries also reported strong gains: Professional and business services were up 4,000 jobs (3.8 percent); construction, a subset of the mining and construction sector, was up 2,300 jobs (5 percent); and transportation, warehousing and utilities were up 1,700 jobs (7 percent).

Bernalillo County’s unemployment rate was at 4.5 percent while Sandoval County’s was at 4.9 percent and Santa Fe’s at 4.1 percent. Los Alamos County had the lowest at 3.1 percent and Luna County had the highest at 7.9 percent.

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