State unemployment numbers are up

Posted at: 07/31/2013 5:25 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News 4

New Mexico’s unemployment rate is shooting up dramatically this summer, because more people are looking for work for the first time, or resuming job searches after giving up months ago.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an increase of more than 10,000 people in the state’s civilian labor force from May to June. That’s people either working, or looking for work, and there just aren’t enough jobs to go around.

The state’s jobless rate climbed from 6.4 percent in May to 7.6 percent in June. That is one heck of a jump, but it doesn’t surprise Katherine Perea. She’s been out of work for four months now.

“It’s tough, it’s tough,” Perea said after searching for a job at a state-run office in Martineztown. “There’s a lot of people competing for the same job. You go to job fairs, there’s hundreds of people there. Everybody’s out for the same job!”

Javier Felix is looking, too. He’s been out of work for six months.

“Before, it was a little bit low-paying, minimum wage,” Felix said. “Now it’s getting up to $10, $9 an hour. That’s coming up. Some people are getting hired, and my luck is not that good right now.”

Among the metro areas, Albuquerque’s jobless rate in June was 7.8 percent, up from 6.6 percent in May. Santa Fe jumped to 5.9 percent from 5 percent, and Las Cruces soared from 7.3 percent to 8.5 percent. Farmington increased from 6.2 percent to 7.6 percent.

This doesn’t mean New Mexico isn’t growing jobs. In fact the state gained more than 7,000 new jobs over the last twelve months.  The trouble is there are too many people looking for them.

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