New Mexico’s unemployment rate continued to drop in October, but not as far as many other states.
New Mexico had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 6.5% last month, down from 6.9% the month before, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The figure is New Mexico’s lowest since last spring, when the state reported its first COVID-19 cases. New Mexico’s unemployment rate stood at 8.5% in October 2020, according to the federal data.
However, the rate, which is based on survey data, remained the fifth-highest in the nation last month, ahead of only New York, New Jersey, California and Nevada, according to the BLS. The national unemployment rate was 4.6% in October.
Preliminary data from October shows that 61,938 New Mexicans remain unemployed, down from 65,681 the month before, according to the BLS.
Detailed data from the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions showed that several industries that were hit hard by the pandemic continued to post strong year-over-year recoveries. Leisure and hospitality experienced the largest employment growth with a gain of 11,400 jobs, or 14.2%, compared to the previous year. The professional and business services sector added 7,600 jobs, and trade, transportation and utilities added 5,900, according to the state agency. Federal, state and local government employment continued to lag, and shed 4,900 jobs since last October.
Los Alamos County continued to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state, at 2.3%. Luna County was the only county that continued to have a double-digit unemployment rate, at 10.6%, according to DWS.