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New jobless claims hold steady in New Mexico

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — The number of new applications for temporary unemployment assistance in New Mexico held steady during the week ending May 16, according to the latest federal statistics.

New Mexico has processed more than 146,000 claims for unemployment since mid-March. That represents about 18% of the total workforce in the state that’s eligible for the unemployment insurance program.

The number of applications submitted statewide during the week ending May 16 showed almost no change from the number of claims submitted the previous week. However, it still marked a more than 900% increase from the same time last year as New Mexico and the rest of the world grapple with the economic fallout that has resulted from the coronavirus pandemic.

The number of claims are expected to decrease in the coming weeks as New Mexico moves toward relaxing more restrictions on businesses in most parts of the state. For example, state officials have targeted June 1 for reopening gyms, salons and restaurants as long as New Mexico continues to show progress in limiting the spread of COVID-19.