FARMINGTON — The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Farmington dropped by one-tenth of a percent from May to June but the number of jobs in a year-over-year span also decreased, according to the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions.
The unemployment rate was 6.5 percent for June, which was down from 6.6 percent in May, according to the Labor Market Review report that was released on July 25.
The report was created by the Department of Workforce Solutions.
Though the unemployment rate may have dropped, Farmington mayor Tommy Roberts said it is difficult to draw conclusions regarding economic health of the area based on unemployment numbers.
"We don't really know if people are leaving the job search market," he said.
"We are still in recovery," Roberts added.
The report also stated that Farmington lost about 1,000 jobs from June 2013, a 2 percent decrease.
The government sector posted a loss of about 100 jobs, and the public sector lost about 200 jobs. Although there were some private sector job gains, the majority of losses were in the mining, construction, oil and gas extraction, and other goods-producing industries.
Roberts said he hasn't seen the report but knows there are between 600 to 700 jobs in the area that can't be filled because applicants are unqualified.
"There are many jobs available that haven't been filled because we don't have a qualified workforce," Roberts said.
Ray Hagerman, CEO of the Four Corners Economic Development, said in a meeting on Tuesday that he plans to form a task force to address workforce development.
He plans to have industry professionals, employers and educators on the task force.
"We want to include those people and come up with implementable practices for the community," he said.
Hagerman couldn't be reached for comment for this story.
Roberts said he expects Farmington to have more jobs created in the coming two to three years.
"We continue to focus on job creation through our economic services. We think we are beginning to see some positive results in the near term," he said.
Overall, New Mexico's labor market showed positive growth posting a gain of 2,500 jobs, or 0.3 percent, the report said.
The state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.5 percent in June, unchanged from May but down from 6.9 percent in June 2013.
New Mexico's unemployment rate ranked 17th in the nation, according to the report.Erny Zah is The Daily Times business editor. He can be reached at 505-564-4638.and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him @ernyzah on Twitter.