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New Mexico’s unemployment rate has continued to drop after a year of falling rates, according to new data from New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
In September of this year, New Mexico unemployment dropped to 4.2% from 5.9% in January.
That’s also down two percentage points from last September, when unemployment in the state was at 6.2%. This mirrors nationwide trends; between September 2021 and September 2022, national unemployment fell 1.2%.
“For the third month in a row, we’ve brought New Mexico’s unemployment rate to the lowest it has been in nearly 15 years – that’s huge,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in a press release. “We continue to see substantial job growth, adding over 31,000 new jobs in the last year in sectors from construction and hospitality to education and health care.”
Unemployment in the state spiked in mid-2020 to 12.5%, but rates have been falling steadily since the July 2020 highs.
The current rate is lower than pre-pandemic unemployment; the state hasn’t seen unemployment this low since 2008. However, New Mexico still has a higher unemployment rate than the rest of the country, with nationwide unemployment sitting at 3.5%. And, New Mexico has one of the highest unemployment rates in the Southwest region; out of nine Southwestern states included in the DWS analysis, New Mexico had the second highest unemployment.
The state fared better comparatively in job creation; New Mexico added 31,500 non-farm jobs over the past year, making it the Southwestern state with the fifth-highest employment growth.