September 20, 2016

New Mexico’s unemployment rate the second-highest in the nation

Unemployment office sign Flickr/cc

The rate of unemployed New Mexicans is the second-highest in the nation after increasing in August.

Unemployment office sign Photo Credit: Burt Lum cc

Unemployment office sign Photo Credit: Burt Lum cc

That’s according to the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the federal agency which released its latest state-by-state preliminary employment figures Tuesday.

New Mexico’s unemployment was 6.6 percent in August, still much higher than the 4.9 percent rate in the United States overall. The lowest unemployment rate is in South Dakota, which has a 2.9 percent unemployment rate.

The only state with a higher unemployment rate than New Mexico is Alaska, which has a 6.8 percent unemployment rate.

New Mexico is one of six states with a statistically significant over-the-month unemployment rate increase between July and August. Three states saw statistically significant increases in the same time period.

Two of New Mexico’s neighbors also have unemployment rates that are “significantly different” from the country as a whole.

Arizona has an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent, while Colorado has an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent and Utah’s stand at 3.7 percent.

In August of 2015, the unemployment rate sat at 6.5 percent (adjusted up from the preliminary 6.4 percent).

The number of people in the labor force New Mexico who are employed rose from 856,975 to 866,518 since August 2015. But the number of those unemployed also rose, from 60,015 to 61,292.