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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's jobless rate hit 8.8 percent in March, rising from the 8.7 percent rate in February and the 6.3 percent rate of March 2009.
State labor officials say New Mexico's unemployment rate is higher than it's been in more than 22 years, but falls below the national average.
The national unemployment rate remained at 9.7 percent last month.
New Mexico lost 17,000 jobs between March 2009 and March 2010.
Labor officials say the state has lost jobs from the impact of the national recession, and has been especially hard hit in mining, construction and manufacturing.
They say those drops have had a disproportional effect since New Mexico relies more heavily on mining and construction jobs than the nation as a whole does.