New Mexico’s unemployment rate dropped again in September, although it remains higher than the national average.
According to preliminary figures released by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions on Tuesday, New Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 9.4% in September, down from 11.4% the month before.
The figure remains above the national unemployment rate, which stood at 7.9% in September.
Beginning in early spring, the COVID-19 pandemic and associated shutdowns caused unemployment rates to spike in New Mexico and across the country.
In New Mexico, the unemployment rate peaked at 12.7% in July, the highest statewide rate since the department began tracking the data in the mid-1970s.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Mexico’s September unemployment rate was higher than the rate in all but seven states: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York and Rhode Island.
New Mexico’s leisure and hospitality sector remained the hardest-hit portion of the state’s economy, having shed 24,500 jobs, just under a quarter of the total jobs in the industry, during the 12-month period ending in September, according to the state workforce department.
The state’s mining and logging subsector, which includes the oil and gas industry, lost 26.6% of its jobs during the same period.