For the first time in 32 months, New Mexico reported job growth on a year-over-year basis, according to job numbers for June.
The state’s unemployment rate improved slightly in June with a rate of 6.8 percent, down from 6.9 percent in May and 8.4 percent a year ago.
The national unemployment rate increased to 9.2 percent.
The recent unemployment rate declines have resulted not from an increase in employment, but from a shrinking civilian labor force, according to the state’s Department of Workforce Solutions.
The rate of over-the-year job growth was 0.3 percent from June 2010 to June 2011, resulting in 2,400 jobs. A number of industries now are cautiously adding jobs, according to state officials, but there is still evidence of restraint.
Six industries showed growth, while seven declined. But state officials said the industry sectors are facing different circumstances, making it difficult to generalize about the labor market conditions.
Education and health services led the way with 7,500 jobs, growing at a 6.4 percent rate over 2010.
This is great news for our local economy and housing market. As they say, the recession will begin and end with real estate. With the strengthening of the job market, hopefully the housing market will continue to improve.