March 13, 2017

NM’s unemployment rate highest in the nation

Unemployment office sign Flickr/cc

New Mexico’s unemployment rate is the highest in the nation, according to the latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

According to the state employment numbers for January released Monday morning, New Mexico’s unemployment rate is now 6.7 percent, above Alaska (6.5 percent) and Alabama (6.4 percent).

The overall unemployment rate across the United States is 4.8 percent.

Related: New Mexico ‘worst-run’ state in the nation. Again.

The unemployment rate for January in New Mexico is slightly up from the 6.5 percent rate in January 2016.

The next-highest unemployment rate in the region is Arizona, with a 5.0 percent unemployment rate. Colorado’s unemployment rate sits at 2.9 percent, which is tied with South Dakota for third-lowest in the country. New Hampshire has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 2.7 percent, while Hawaii’s is at 2.8 percent.

New Mexico’s unemployment rate has generally hovered around the same rate over the past four years, with its highest rate at 6.9 percent multiple times in 2013 and 2014 and its lowest rate at 6.4 percent in November and December of 2014. Since hitting the post-Great Recession peak of 6.4 percent in 2014, the state unemployment rate has fluctuated between 6.5 percent and 6.8 percent.

The state has seen a growth in employment, with 3,890 more employees employed in January of 2017 than in January of 2016. But in that same time, the labor force grew by 6,254 people, which made the unemployment rate increase.