Statistics: The unemployed in NM stay on rolls longer

By Rob Nikolewski on October 24, 2013
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STAYING PUT: Statistics show that people in New Mexico tend to remain on the unemployment rolls longer than average.


By Rob Nikolewski │ New Mexico Watchdog

SANTA FE — People getting unemployment benefits in New Mexico stay on unemployment longer than residents of other states, despite national numbers showing New Mexico’s rate at less than the national average.

looked into statistics that show in the United States for the average number of weeks a claimant receives benefits during a claim — what’s called the “duration rate” — and when it comes to the number of claimants who use up their unemployment eligibility payment — the “exhaustion rate.”

The DOL looks at all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Only Delaware and Kentucky finished with longer duration rates than New Mexico, which averaged 19.9 weeks with claimants receiving benefits during a claim.

While New Mexico’s numbers are bad, a national trend shows people remaining on unemployment longer.

Take a look at this chart over the past 60 years:

 

When it comes to the exhaustion rate, getting unemployment used up every week of eligible payments.

Why?

, thinks part of the explanation may have something to do with the recession getting to New Mexico later than other states.

“We were slow to get into the downturn and we’re slow to get out,” Bussey told New Mexico Watchdog, adding, “It’s still shaky out there.”

But as this chart from the shows, New Mexico’s exhaustion rate has actually decreased by more than 10 points in the past three years:

 

 

Overall, New Mexico’s unemployment rate is . The national figure is 7.3 percent.

Bussey told members of the on Wednesday the Department of Workforce Solutions is focusing its efforts on improving employment numbers in individual counties.

“I’ve had continuous disagreements with local work force development and how they allocate money,” Bussey said. “I think our biggest traction happens at the local level.”

The state’s highest unemployment figures are from ).

Contact Rob Nikolewski at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

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