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NM jobless rate down a bit to 6.6 percent in October

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico’s unemployment rate dropped slightly to 6.6 percent last month from 6.7 percent the previous month and from 6.8 percent the same month a year ago.

The state Workforce Solutions Department said Friday that jobs have grown by 0.2 percent, a gain of 3,000 over the year.

The leisure and hospital industry has slowed to 2,200 jobs now that the peak tourism season is over. Both the construction and retail trade industries reported a gain of 600 jobs each. The educational and health services industry lost 1,100 jobs, while manufacturing declined by 900 jobs.

In the government sector, there was a net loss of 3,100 jobs since last year. Similar loses were reported at both the federal and local levels.


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On a national scale, unemployment fell in 28 U.S. states last month and employers added jobs in 34, suggesting recent improvements in the job market have occurred in most regions of the country.

The Labor Department said unemployment rates rose in 11 states and were flat in 11. Employers cut jobs in 15 states.

The biggest job gains occurred in Florida, California and North Carolina. Kentucky, Washington state and New Jersey lost the most jobs. Job growth was unchanged in Pennsylvania.

Hiring has picked up nationwide, according to the government’s October jobs report released earlier this month. That report showed employers added 204,000 positions last month, up from 163,000 in September.

The unemployment rate nationally ticked up to 7.3 percent from 7.2 percent, in part because of the 16-day partial government shutdown. The shutdown caused temporary layoffs among government workers and some contractors.

But outside that increase, most employers appeared to have shrugged off the shutdown.

Florida gained 44,600 jobs. The biggest gains were in both better-paying and lower-paying fields. Most of the gains were in construction, hotels, restaurants, entertainment and in the professional services category, which includes accountants, engineers and temporary workers.

California added 39,800 positions, also in a mix of fields. The biggest gains were in government, education and health, and in retail, transportation and utilities.

Nevada continued to have the highest unemployment rate in the nation at 9.3 percent. That is down from 9.4 percent in September.

The states with the next-highest rates were Rhode Island, at 9.2 percent; Michigan, 9 percent; Illinois, 8.9 percent; and California, 8.7 percent.

North Dakota had the lowest rate, at 2.7 percent, down from 2.8 percent a month earlier. South Dakota reported the second-lowest rate, at 3.7 percent, followed by Nebraska, with 3.9 percent.