New Mexico’s unemployment rate stood at 3.5% in January.
On Monday, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions released January’s unemployment rate, which is unchanged from the previous month. December’s rate stood at 3.9% before it was modified earlier this year in a process known as “benchmarking.”
“Every year the data are adjusted to employment counts collected through the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages program,” Stacy Johnston, a spokeswoman for NMDWS, said in an email. “During this benchmarking process, estimates for New Mexico and its four Metropolitan Statistical Areas — Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, and Farmington — are revised. This year, all the data series were revised back to April 2020.”
The unemployment rate in January was the lowest it has been since August’s revised unemployment rate of 3.4%. The updated unemployment rate has been 3.5% since September. And before that, the last time the rate stood at 3.5% was from May 2007 through September 2007, data shows.
New Mexico’s unemployment rate in January was slightly higher than the national average of 3.4%.
The most recent update in unemployment comes a month-and-a-half since the state released December’s numbers. It’s expected that data for February will come later this month.
But the report from NMDWS, which was released Monday, shows New Mexico’s nonfarm employment dropped to 851,000 — which is still preliminary — from a revised number of 859,100 in December, a decrease of 0.9%, data shows. It is, however, an increase from January 2022 when nonfarm employment was 826,300.
The year-over-year increase of 24,700 jobs mostly came from the private sector — which accounted for nearly 84% of those gains, data shows.
But jobs were down from December in the private sector, translating to a loss of 5,500 jobs.
Of the private sector, service-providing industries were up 15,000 jobs year over year while goods-producing industries were up nearly 6,000 jobs.
Leisure and hospitality employment grew by 5,900 jobs, or 6.6%, year over year. From December through January, leisure and hospitality employment grew by roughly 400 jobs.
The largest year-over-year percentage change for service-providing industries came in information employment at 11.3%, though month-over-month employment from December dropped by 300 jobs. Mining, logging and construction employment grew by 4,900 jobs year over year — and 900 jobs month over month, data shows.
Government employment in the state — which includes local, state and federal — grew by 4,000 jobs year over year. But there has been a drop in month-over-month employment at the federal level, with 200 jobs lost between December and January. Roughly 1,700 jobs were lost at the state level from December to January, data shows.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that the unemployment rate was adjusted to 3.4% in August after a benchmarking process, making it the lowest rate in more than a decade.