Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico unemployme­nt rate at 3.5% in January

But data shows jobs are down from December

- Copyright © 2023 Albuquerqu­e Journal BY MATTHEW NARVAIZ

New Mexico’s unemployme­nt rate stood at 3.5% in January — its lowest since 2007.

On Monday, the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions released January’s unemployme­nt rate, which is unchanged from December. December’s rate was 3.9% before it was modified earlier this month in a process known as “benchmarki­ng.”

“Every year, the data is adjusted to employment counts collected through the Quarterly Census of Employment and

Wages program,” Stacy Johnston, a spokeswoma­n for NMDWS, said in an email. “During this benchmarki­ng process, estimates for New Mexico and its four Metropolit­an Statistica­l Areas — Albuquerqu­e, Santa Fe, Las Cruces and Farmington — are revised. This year, all the data series were revised back to April 2020.”

The unemployme­nt rate in January was the lowest it has been since 2007 — when data show the unemployme­nt rate as at 3.5% from May through September of that year. Comparativ­ely, New Mexico’s unemployme­nt rate in January was slightly higher than the national average of 3.4%.

The most recent update in unemployme­nt comes some a month and a half since the state released December’s numbers. It’s expected that data for February will come later this month.

But the report from NMDWS, which was released Monday, shows New Mexico’s nonfarm employment dropped to 851,000 — which is still preliminar­y — from a revised number of 859,100 in December, a decrease of 0.9%, data shows. It is, however, an increase from January 2022 when nonfarm employment was at 826,300.

The year-over-year increase of 24,700 jobs came mostly from the private sector — which accounted for nearly 84% of those gains, data shows.

But jobs were down from December in the private sector, translatin­g to a loss of 5,500 jobs.

Of the private sector, service-providing industries were up 15,000 jobs year over year, while goods-producing industries were up nearly 6,000 jobs.

Leisure and hospitalit­y employment grew by 5,900 jobs, or 6.6%, year over year. From December through January, leisure and hospitalit­y employment grew by roughly 400 jobs. The largest year-over-year percentage change for service-providing industries came in informatio­n employment, at 11.3%, though month-over-month employment from December dropped by 300 jobs. Mining, logging and constructi­on employment grew by 4,900 jobs year over year — and 900 jobs month over month, data shows.

Government employment in the state — which includes local, state and federal — grew by 4,000 jobs year over year. But, there has been a drop in month-over-month employment at the federal level, with 200 jobs lost between December and January. Roughly 1,700 jobs were lost at the state level from December to January, data show.

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