New Mexico’s September unemployment rate remained steady from August at 3.7 percent. This is a slight drop over the September 2022 unemployment rate.
New Mexico’s lowest unemployment rate was 3.4 percent in August 2022, and was at 3.5 percent in September of 2022.
The rate is also more than two-and-a-half times lower than the pandemic high of 9.3 percent in May 2020, according to the September Labor Market Review.
New Mexico’s unemployment rate has hovered between 3 percent and 4 percent since June 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
New Mexico has the 14th highest unemployment rate in the country. Nevada had the highest unemployment rate at 5.4 percent and Maryland had the lowest at 1.6 percent.
New Mexico’s labor force grew by 2.4 percent or 23,220 workers, due both to the increase in both workers and people unemployed, the Labor Market Review states.
Since September 2022, New Mexico’s labor force has grown by 19,770 people with the number of those unemployed has increased by 3,450 people.
Mining and construction added 6,100 jobs, private education and health services added 5,400 jobs, hospitality added 5,000 jobs and manufacturing added 800 jobs.
Professional and business services lost 5,600 jobs while trade, transportation and utilities were down 1,300 jobs.
The discussion of what demographic makes New Mexico’s unemployment rate high has more to do with New Mexico being attractive to those who are retired or about to retire.
The interim Legislative Finance Committee discussed the subject during a meeting in August.
“We have a slightly older population that accounts for a good portion of it, a larger population that is involved in government employment which is another portion of it,”Legislative Finance Committee chief Economist Ismael Torres said. “But interestingly enough, most of the recent declines in labor force participation is actually concentrated in those over 55. So it seems to be an indication of retirements and those are people who would be very difficult to attract back into the workforce. Meanwhile, the prime age population 25 to 55, that’s actually been growing.”