New Mexico’s unemployment remained unchanged in April but preliminary unemployment numbers suggest the state added roughly 3,000 workers over the prior month.
The unemployment rate last month was 3.5%, the same as it was in March and January, according to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions. In February, the rate had jumped slightly to 3.6% before decreasing slightly over the next two months.
But early data shows that the number of people employed in New Mexico in April stands at 922,587 – higher than March’s number by nearly 3,000. The most recent employment data, which is subject to slight changes because it’s still preliminary, keeps with the state’s continued rise of workers in the labor force.
In January, for instance, 914,260 people were employed — which means last month’s employment number is an increase of more than 8,000 people. Since January of last year, that number of workers employed has hovered above 900,000, something jobs experts have noted in describing New Mexico’s strong job growth following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nationally, the unemployment rate dropped to 3.4% from 3.5% in March. The number of jobs added last month nationally stood at more than 250,000, which is a drop from last year but the number continues to be concerning to economists because inflation remains high. Many point out that a good labor market also makes it tough for inflation to ease.
In New Mexico, total nonfarm employment — which excludes private household employees, farm workers, proprietors and those that are self-employed — increased by 2.1% from the same time last year, data shows.
Goods-producing industries in the state added about 1,200 jobs from March to April and private service-providing industries added about 900 jobs. But data suggests that jobs in government — which include local, state and federal workers — saw a decrease of 1,000 workers month over month.
The unemployment rate in Bernalillo County, which isn’t seasonally adjusted, dropped to 2.7% last month, according to NMDWS. In Santa Fe County, the unemployment rate was 2.6% — down from 2.7% in March. Los Alamos County has the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 1.5%.