Quay County’s unemployment rate dropped by a tenth of a percentage point in March, compared with February, according to preliminary figures reported by the New Mexico Dept. of Workforce Solutions.
March’s 6.5 percent rate, however, was a half of a percentage point higher than the March 2013 unemployment rate of 6.0 percent. February’s unemployment rate was 6.6 percent.
The county’s labor force increased by 10 in March, to 3,685 in March from 3,675 in February. There were 240 persons unemployed in March, compared with 243 in February. In March 2013, the labor force totaled 3,620, and there were 217 persons unemployed.
The statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 7.0 percent in March 2014, up from 6.7 percent in February 2014 and from 6.9 percent a year ago. An expanding civilian labor force boosted the participation rate to 58.7 percent, up 0.3 point between February and March, DWS said.
The rate of over-the-year job growth, comparing March 2014 with March 2013, was a negative 0.1 percent, representing a loss of 1,000 jobs. Six industries added employment, and seven industries lost jobs.
The largest employment gains were reported in retail trade, which added 2,100 jobs since March of 2013, representing its largest gain in six years. The financial activities sector continued to grow by adding 1,900 jobs. This sector has seen consistent growth since May 2012, and recent growth has been much higher than what has typically been reported for the sector. Employment gains in leisure and hospitality rose to 1,500 jobs. Mining grew by 1,400 jobs. Education and health services and transportation, warehousing, and utilities added 300 jobs and 200 jobs, respectively.
Government employment registered a net loss of 2,800 jobs since last year, with most of these losses reported at the local and federal levels. Manufacturing employment declined by 1,900 jobs. Construction declined by 1,400 jobs. The professional and business services industry lost 1,200 jobs.