State reports addition of nearly 50,100 jobs in February

State reports addition of nearly 50,100 jobs in February

That job growth is comparing Feb. 2021 to last month, Feb. 2022. It’s comparing pandemic levels from Feb. 2021 to what we’re seeing now. Those are not necessarily new jobs, but jobs returning.

Leisure and hospitality had the largest growth with a gain of 24,000 jobs, according to the Department of Workforce Solutions.

Folks with the state said it’s a good sign but acknowledge there’s more work to be done.

“What we’re measuring, in that particular year, is that bounce back by the industry sector when they achieve employment levels that we saw pre-pandemic,” said Acting Secretary Ricky Serna.

Acting Secretary for the Department of Workforce Solutions Ricky Serna said the state has not reached pre-pandemic job levels yet.  But more jobs are returning.

Carla Sonntag President of the New Mexico Business Coalition said that good news is overshadowed by the fact that New Mexico has the worst unemployment rate in the nation, at almost 6%.

“I’m glad we’re adding jobs, I really am, but we need to take a serious look at where New Mexico is and figure out how we can do better,” said Sonntag.

Work they are doing. Serna said they are offering programs and job training to help place employees with employers.

“What we need to do is close the gap between available jobs and the available works and in some instances that’s helping them overcome some fundamental barriers that are keeping them from going back to work,” said Serna.

But Sonntag wants to see even more done to get New Mexicans back to work.

“I think almost every industry is trying to hire and having a challenging time. So one of the key factors we’re looking at is the amount of government assistance that’s beyond unemployment,” she said.

The state has set up a website to help connect perspective employees to jobs and training or education. It’s called ready.nm.org or contact them by phone Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. at 1-800-303-3599.

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