Unemployment rate lowest in four years

Quay County's unemployment rate for April, 5.3 percent, is the lowest the county has seen in four years.

The last month that showed a lower unemployment rate was May 2009, when the rate was at 5.2 percent, New Mexico Dept. of Workforce Solutions reports show. In April of that year, the unemployment rate was even lower, at 4.9 percent.

For April 2013, Quay County's unemployment rate jumped down eight tenths of a percentage point from March's 6.1 percent reading. The April rate was a full 2.6 percentage points lower than the 6.9 percent rates recorded in January and February, DWS figures show.

Quay County's April 2013 unemployment rate was also 1.1 percentage points lower than the 6.4 rate reported for April 2012.

Since 2009, the highest rate of unemployment for Quay County was 9.4% in February 2011, DWS reports show.

DWS figures also show that Quay County's labor force, the number of persons working or seeking work, has dropped by about 5.1 percent, from 3,983 in April 2009 to 3,779 in April 2013. The number of persons employed in the county dropped from 3,789 in April 2009 to 3,577 in April 2013, a 5.6 percent decline.

For April 2013, the state's unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, down from 6.9 percent in March and also down from 7.0 percent a year ago, according to a DWS news release.

Statewide, the rate of over-the-year job growth, comparing April 2013 with April 2012, was 1.0 percent, representing a gain of 7,900 jobs. April 2008 was the last time over-the-year employment growth was at or above the one-percent line for the state, the DWS news release stated.

"The economic recovery in New Mexico may be gathering momentum as we start a sustained recovery," the state's release said.

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