NM unemployment fund to be restored thanks to $600M in federal funding

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions will receive more than $600 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to replenish the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund.

State officials said the ARPA funding is being transferred from the state’s Department of Finance and Administration to the Department of Workforce Solutions, both paying back a federal loan issued by the U.S. Department of Labor and also restoring the trust fund to its pre-pandemic levels.

The state’s Department of Workforce Solutions had received a $284 million loan from the U.S. Department of Labor in order to get unemployment benefits to individuals in need.

200,000 New Mexicans were pushed into the state’s unemployment insurance system during the pandemic.

"We said we would replenish this fund — protecting those who are entitled to unemployment benefits now and in the future as well as protecting businesses across the state from any further pandemic-related harm — and we’ve done that," New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said. "We should never forget how terribly hard the pandemic has been for workers and families."

The money transfer is scheduled to be completed by the end of the month.