Unemployment rate takes fall

by Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

The unemployment rate in Quay County was down slightly to 4.2 percent in December 2006 compared to 4.6 percent in December 2005, based on unemployment figures released last week by the New Mexico Department of Labor.

The county’s unemployment ranking, however, slipped in December and the county’s rate is higher than the state’s unemployment rate of 3.8 percent, labor statistics show.
Quay County’s unemployment rate, “looks to be pretty steady,” said Mark Boyd of the Economic Research and Analysis Bureau.

Quay County is now ranked seventh in the state, compared to 16th in December 2005.

“That’s because several other counties did better at dropping their unemployment growth, so Quay shifted upward,” Boyd said.

Statistics also indicate that the county is experiencing “slow and moderate growth,” Boyd said.

The numbers also show that 175 people were unemployed in December. “That’s a small amount … not an unemployment problem,” Boyd said.

Pete Kampfer, executive director of The Greater Tucumcari Economic Development Corp, said that Quay County usually follows national unemployment trends, with some lag time.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate is at 4.5 percent.

Out of Quay County’s estimated 4,126 workers, 3,951 were employed in December 2006, the statistics show.

Compared to December 2005, there were an estimated 4,228 workers and 4,032 employed.

Area Unemployment
County Dec. 2006 Nov. 2006 Dec. 2005
rank rate rank rate rank rate
• Quay 7 4.2% 10 4.6% 16 4.6%

• Curry 25 2.8% 23 3.5% 23 3.7%

• Harding 18 3.3% 14 4.4% 25 3.7%

* Not seasonally adjusted
Source: New Mexico Department of Labor