May 19, 2017

Make it three in a row: NM has highest unemployment rate again

Unemployment office sign Flickr/cc

For the third consecutive month, New Mexico has the highest unemployment rate in the nation. And once again, New Mexico is one of just two states with an unemployment rate over 6 percent.

The April numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Friday showed the state’s unemployment rate of 6.7 percent remains far above the national unemployment rate of 4.4 percent and nearly three-times the unemployment rate of Colorado, at 2.3 percent.

Colorado has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation and is one of three states to reach its lowest unemployment rate since the BLS’ state series began in 1976.

This is also the third consecutive month that New Mexico’s unemployment rate stands at 6.7 percent. Alaska has the second-highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent. The next lowest is nearly a full percentage point lower than New Mexico’s—Louisiana at 5.8 percent (Washington D.C. had an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent).

Among New Mexico’s neighbors, other than nation-leading Colorado, Arizona and Texas each have unemployment rates of 5 percent and Utah has a rate of 3.1 percent.

New Mexico’s unemployment rate in April 2016 was 6.6 percent. Among New Mexico’s neighbors, only Texas also had a year-over-year unemployment rate increase, going from 4.2 percent to 4.6 percent. Colorado’s unemployment rate dropped a full percentage point in that time period, while Utah and Arizona each saw drops of 0.4 percent.

There were 9,600 more New Mexicans employed in New Mexico in April 2017 when compared to April 2016.

Over the past two years, New Mexico has consistently been among the states with the highest unemployment rate.