New Mexico dealing with high unemployment numbers

Posted at: 09/24/2013 6:40 PM
By: Maria Guerrero, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Hundreds of unemployed New Mexicans showed up for a job fair on Albuquerque’s west side today.

New numbers show a double digit unemployment rate in the state and in the nation.

Those inside the West Mesa Community Center prove there’s no rest for the weary.

"I graduated from UNM with a Bachelor's in Criminology,” said Kimberly Dorado to a prospective employer.

Dorado has applied for about 50 positions and still hasn’t been able to land her first professional job.

“I even tried applying for seasonal work at Macy's and I wasn't able to get a job there," she said.

Jayne Muse lost her job in 2011.

“My grandson said, 'Grandma how many job fairs are you going to go too?' Because I've been to a lot,” said Muse.

She knows she’s up against other challenges as well.

“I just turned 68 and I didn't plan well for my retirement and my daughter told me, 'Mom I don't think anybody wants to hire you because you're 68,'" she said.

These two women are still hopeful, even as sobering unemployment numbers are released.

Labor stats for the second quarter of 2013 show New Mexico’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.7%.

But the University of New Mexico Bureau of Business and Economic Research found when you factor in those who’ve given up finding work and those forced to work part-time, the unemployment rate shoots up to 14.1%.

With the same factors included, the national unemployment rate is 14.7%.

“If we're going to be real with ourselves and think about the challenges that face our state, we can't just pick the lower number because it makes us feel good," said freshman State Senator Jacob Candelaria.

The Democrat put on the job fair in his district.

It brought employers and around 400 job seekers together.

“I know it's a tough economy and I know my age is against me but I have a lot of faith in God,” said Muse.

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