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New Mexico job market remains stagnant

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By Susan M. Bryan

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Federal labor statistics show most states have seen positive job growth over the past year, but New Mexico and several others remain on the negative side of the curve when it comes to the job market.

There haven't been any sizable layoffs in the past year by big employers in New Mexico, but business leaders say small businesses — from plumbing contractors and car dealerships to real estate companies and architectural firms — have been forced to lay off handfuls of workers, and those numbers are adding up.

"It's like a duck nipping at our ankles. It's a little bit here and a little bit there and before you know it, it becomes a big number," said Terri Cole, president and CEO of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce.

One of those workers on New Mexico's unemployment rolls is Kathleen Cescolini, of Albuquerque, who has been without work for a year. Before being laid off along with 140 coworkers, she used to be an operator for a company that relayed telephone calls to hearing and speech impaired customers.

Cescolini went to two interviews Thursday and had three more scheduled Friday. She puts in about five applications a day.


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