January 23, 2018

NM unemployment remains second-highest in nation

Unemployment office sign Flickr/cc

New Mexico’s unemployment rate continues to fall, but is still second-worst in the nation.

The latest numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that New Mexico’s unemployment rate in December 2017 fell to 6 percent, down from 6.7 percent in December 2016. The state now has the same rate as the District of Columbia.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate is at 4.1 percent. Hawaii has the lowest unemployment rate—2 percent—and Alaska has the highest, 7.3 percent.

Total employment in New Mexico also increased by about 13,500 between December 2016 and December 2017. The total employment number in New Mexico is poised to reach over 880,000 for the first time since February 2009.

Total employment peaked in New Mexico in March 2008, at just under 905,000. The labor force at the time was 942,913. That number fellto 935,651 in December.

New Mexico’s neighbors all have lower employment rates: Colorado and Utah each with rates of 3.1 percent, Texas of 3.9 percent and Arizona of 4.5 percent.