New Mexico Unemployment Hit 7% in July

Staff Report
The Associated Press

New Mexico's unemployment rate hit 7 percent last month, up from 6.8 percent in June and 4.2 percent in July 2008.

The state's labor agency says New Mexico lost 25,900 jobs between July 2008 and July 2009, for a negative 3.1 percent growth.

Officials say the decline is the worst New Mexico has seen since 1954.

Only two of New Mexico 13 industries have posted any job growth since last year - government and private health care.

Most of those gains came from educational and health services, which grew by 3,600 jobs. Government added 2,300.

Mining gained until February, when layoffs escalated. The mining sector now is down 2,200 jobs since July 2008.

Construction lost 8,100 jobs, and manufacturing was down by 4,100 jobs.