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ABQ employment level at its highest rate on record

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Employment in Albuquerque jumped by 2.8 percent in October, giving the metro area a greater number of jobs than it’s had since before the recession, the city announced Monday.

In fact, the preliminary figure of 403,500 jobs for the metropolitan area is the highest since such records started being kept in 1999, according to data provided by the city.

The over-the-year growth in October was higher than that for nearby “peer” cities, with Tucson at 1.9 percent, El Paso at 2.3 percent, and Oklahoma City at 2.2 percent, according to a news release. The exception was Colorado Springs, which saw an increase of 5.4 percent in October.

The 11,000 new jobs the city recorded fell in both the public and private sectors, with only one industry category – education and health services – shedding jobs. Employment in professional and business services grew the most, at 8 percent, while leisure and hospitality was No. 2 at 5.4 percent.

Synthia Jaramillo, the city’s economic development director, said the city’s use of Local Economic Development Act funding to support business will ensure the good news continues. The city has approved $1 million from the fund for California-based TaskUs and $4.5 million for Netflix, the media services giant that is purchasing Albuquerque Studios.

“At the Economic Development Department, we’re focused on supporting local businesses and looping in partners who will invest in our communities in meaningful ways,” Jaramillo said. “As we continue to execute our economic plan centered on equity and our city’s unique assets, we’re working to make sure these trends continue.”

Unemployment in the Albuquerque area in October was 4.4 percent, unchanged from the month before but down from 5.6 percent a year ago, according to the state Department of Workforce Solutions.

The economic picture statewide has been improving, following one of the nation’s slowest recoveries from the Great Recession.

New Mexico’s job growth was also 2.8 percent in October, while the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent, down from 6 percent a year ago.

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