Despite nation’s highest unemployment rate New Mexico businesses struggle to find workers

The latest state unemployment data for May, 2022, show (once again) that New Mexico has the nation’s highest unemployment rate at 5.1%.

That is not a surprise given New Mexico’s long-term problems with workforce participation and job creation, but a new report from Wallethub claims that New Mexico businesses are having problems (relative to employers in other states) finding workers. According to the new report, New Mexico businesses are 23rd in terms of the number of job openings.

With a high number of workers on the sidelines both in terms of unemployment AND workforce participation, what could be the problem? New Mexico has always struggled to get workers into the workforce, but since COVID the situation has deteriorated even further. Click here on the map below for the full Wallethub report.

Getting more New Mexicans back into paying jobs is a complicated challenge that could involve some combination of lower taxes, fewer/lower welfare payments, and improved education/training for jobs that actually exist (as opposed to blindly paying for college).