Skilled 4 Work: Restaurant jobs in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal pandemic unemployment assistance is over, and at last check, New Mexico has the 48th worst unemployment rate in the country.

For example, Damacios is the newest restaurant in downtown Albuquerque. Its owners said that staffing is still their number one struggle, but they’ve seen a dramatic increase in the number of applications.

"I do think the tides are turning a little bit, I think people are ready to get back to work a little bit," said Carol Wight with the New Mexico Restaurant Association. "I’m concerned about the Delta spike – that it’s going to keep people from seeking employment. Because they’ve been, in our industry, we were laid off three different times last year."

Wight said she has assurances from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham that restaurants will not be forced to close again. Wight also noted that wages are starting to increase – as some in the industry are trying to attract potential workers.

"Everything is over minimum wage, everything is, you know, upwards of 15 dollars per hour that they’re offering," Wight said. "Just keep in mind we do have restaurants that are getting way up there in salaries and wages."

The New Mexico Restaurant Association has a job board posted here.