New Mexico’s unemployment rate dipped below 7% for the first time since last spring, but still remains well above the national average.
In September, New Mexico’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 6.9%, according to newly released data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The figure is the state’s lowest since March 2020, when the state reported its first COVID-19 cases and subsequently enacted restrictions meant to curb the spread of the virus.
New Mexico’s unemployment rate was the fifth-highest in the nation in September, behind California, Nevada, New York and New Jersey, according to the BLS data. The national unemployment rate stood at 4.8% in September.
The BLS data, which is based on a survey of residents, showed that 65,585 New Mexicans were listed as unemployed in September, down from 68,782 the month prior. Non-agricultural payroll employment increased by 25,800 jobs since last September, an increase of 3.3%, according to data from the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
New Mexico’s leisure and hospitality industry saw the largest year-over-year recovery, adding 13,700 jobs, or 17.6%, compared to the previous year, according to the state.
Employment in the professional and business services sector grew by 5,800 jobs, while trade, transportation, and utilities reported an increase of 3,800 jobs compared to last September.
Los Alamos County posted the lowest unemployment rate in the state in September, at 2.5%. Luna County continued to have the highest unemployment rate, followed by Lea and McKinley counties, according to DWS.