NM Jobless Rate Rises To 8.7%

New Mexico – New Mexico's unemployment rate was 8.7 percent in February, up from January's 8.5 percent rate and up from 6.1 percent a year ago.

The state Department of Workforce Solutions says New Mexico has lost 22,800 jobs since February 2009. Despite an over-the-year job growth rate of negative 2.8 percent in February, the department says New Mexico's job growth outranks Arizona, Colorado and Nevada.

Four of the state's industries posted job growth since last year, and nine others reported declines.

The largest gains were reported in the leisure and hospitality industry, which added 2,200 jobs.

Mining, manufacturing and construction have shed 13,400 jobs since February 2009. Officials say the losses have undermined many of the assumptions the department previously made about the state's economy.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.