New Mexico saw a drop in unemployment in May, the third straight month of declines in unemployment, while the national rate increased slightly.
The state Department of Workforce Solutions reported the rate was 6.9 percent in May, down from 7.6 percent in April and from 8.3 percent a year ago.
The national unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent from 9 percent in April. In May 2010, it was 9.6 percent.
Seven industries have added jobs since May 2010. Educational and health services added 4,200 jobs and retail trade added 3,100 jobs. The leisure and hospitality sector added 1,500 jobs and mining added 1,300 jobs. There were 700 more jobs in the “other services” category, while wholesale trade and the transportation, warehousing and utilities sectors each added 600 jobs.
The ongoing losses in the professional and business services sector continued to be the primary drag on employment growth. That segment lost 7,100 jobs in May, a decrease of 7.1 percent.
Government employment was down 5,700 jobs because the May 2010 comparison was inflated by the temporary hiring of Census workers.
Construction employment declined to 40,600, the industry’s lowest level for the month since 1993. Information employment also dropped, by 1,000 jobs, following a loss of 1,200 jobs in April.