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Some 6,000 Santa Fe County residents who were receiving unemployment benefits did not get a payment this week due to the Dec. 26 expiration of the federal CARES Act benefits, according to New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions statistics.

The number of people on the jobless rolls in Santa Fe Country dropped from 9,104 on Dec. 21 to 3,100 on Monday. Officials expect most claimants will return once the state receives funding and guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor for the extension of the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs.

The PUA provides jobless benefits to the self-employed, contractors and gig workers. The PEUC extension provides an additional 11 weeks of benefits for the jobless whose state benefits have expired.

New Mexico weekly unemployment claims since March

 Dec. 20-26: 3,784 (655 self-employed federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance)

Dec. 13-19: 4,802 (1,128)

Dec. 6-12: 5,100 (1,321)

Nov. 29-Dec. 5: 7,959 (1,631)

Nov. 22-28: 8,337 (1,398)

Nov. 15-21: 12,159 (1,622)

Nov. 8-14: 5,034 (1,010)

Nov. 1-7: 3,848 (985)

Oct. 25-31: 4,209 (1,122)

Oct. 18-24: 3,818 (1,191)

Oct. 11-17: 3,641 (1,138)

Oct. 4-10: 3,918 (965)

Sept. 27-Oct 3: 3,314 (1,224)

Sept. 20-26: 3,067 (1,279)

Sept. 13-19: 3,314 (1,374)

Sept. 6-12: 3,048 (1,270)

Aug. 30-Sept. 5: 3,357 (1,264)

Aug. 23-29: 3,410 (1,434)

Aug 16-22: 3,725 (1,547)

Aug. 9-15: 4,175 (1,626)

Aug. 2-8: 4,359 (1,576)

July 26-Aug. 1: 5,117 (2,631)

July 19-25: 6,402 (3,649)

July 12-18: 6,881 (3,270)

July 5-11: 5,758 (2,661)

June 28-July 4: 4,935 (2,527)

June 21-27: 4,435 (2,131)

June 14-20: 4,236 (2,059)

June 7-13: 4,536 (2,091)

May 31-June 6: 5,290 (2,327)

May 24-30: 6,672 (2,437)

May 17-23: 9,524 (3,141)

May 10-16: 7,356 (3,253)

May 3-9: 8,024 (4,714)

April 26-May 2: 13,675 (17,850)

April 19-25: 12,093 (66)

April 12-18: 13,621

April 5-11: 19,043

March 29-April 4: 26,132

March 22-28: 27,849

March 15-21: 18,105

March 8-14: 869

Source: New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions

New Mexico unemployment rate on Dec. 19: 6.23 percent, down .28 percentage point. National unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, unchanged from prior week.

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

(8) comments

Donato Velasco

all good till the taxes come due, you have to pay it all back..

Nancy Lockland

If the governor would just open up the state and get back to normalcy then unemployment wouldn't be so high. She has created welfare monsters. People who think it's ok to live of the government because of all this "free" money. Stop the BS, covid isn't going anywhere. It's time for people to make a living by actually working.

George Welland

Hmmm... "Welfare monsters," you must be referring to those civic minded groups populating the chamber of commerce (employing the ilk of Typhoid Mary) and lining up at the public through for Paycheck Protection Program grants, tax breaks, and economic development loans (more grants that aren't paid back) ... that's called "Corporate Welfare!" It's time for businesses to stand on their own, or at least spare the rest of their Horatio Alger hokum.

Donato Velasco

this is a welfare state so nothing new here.. want to see what socialist country looks like just look at new mexico, california to start..

Deanna Lopez

I've never once collected unemployment. I work hard for my children. This "free money" doesn't pay the bills or put food on the table. I actually have Covid and for once, I need help. I don't get foodstamps or any other assistance either. In 2018 I made 6 figures. NM's economy is quickly declining and it seems they're in no hurry to jump start it. Please keep your insults to yourself and please do not speak for the majority of us that want to be successful and healthy again.

Red Eagle

Blame everything on the Feds....when the Governor is the one keeping the state shutdown and creating and even bigger problem, no revenue for small business, no jobs for New Mexicans. Where do people think federal $ come from, well 2 places, taxes, which when people aren’t earning money they aren’t paying, and a printing press owned by China. Wake up people, this state has get black on it’s feet by helping itself first and foremost. The current shutdown/color scale has not had the desired effect, so we need to get the state open again before a poverty level like we have never seen is reached.

George Welland

? Not sure where you were going with your comment, but how about we tell people that "Poverty Level" is a good thing... then New Mexico would be sure to come in last!

George Welland

The City Indifferent & The Land of Disenfranchisement Lost More Than Jobless Benefits !

These weekly stories showing new initial UI claims (mean nothing that people don't already know) and simply regurgitate what NMDWS provides ... and considering what NMDWS provides... ughhh! So here's some commentary for SFNM readers that digs a little deeper (how long before this comment is deleted?). N.M.'s legislature, despite meeting three times in 2020, stole more from unemployed New Mexicans than they gave, by diverting money to business interests in a continuation of failed trickle down economics; culminating in a promised $1,200 WPB payment to those who exhausted their UI benefits after the $600 a week CARES Act benefit and the $300 a week Trump/FEMA LWA ended; but which was never paid to thousands of eligible recipients (so even more of the CARES Act money could be sent to the state's UI trust fund, for no other reason than to keep employers tax rates low); and likewise instead of using millions for making the UI program more efficient, the legislature and NMDWS kept their arcane laws and rules in order to keep the program complex, slow, and delaying even the most obviously eligible payment (in the hopes of starving claimants into going away?). The state legislature and the governor are laughing at unemployed New Mexicans, and amusing themselves by watching them scramble for crumbs, in order to divert everyone's attention (including the "press") from noticing how much money they've shoveled out as corporate welfare.

As predicted, the legislature, wants NMDWS to report a falling unemployment insurance rate as proof of a rebounding economy (which paradoxically requires more corporate welfare to sustain?), as there'll be many economic stimulus bills along with distraction tactics in the form of clap trap bills (like outlawing "trapping," while the fast food industry pours out tons of dead animals onto our plates in the form of pink slime, don't get me wrong I like eating dead animals, except from Whuhan, China, but it's the hypocrisy I can't stomach). More importantly (and on topic) is that a (fake) lower UI rate will result in improperly eliminating at least one extended UI program, a/k/a/ FDEB1 (because the state's UI trust fund has to pay half of the benefits even though the feds pay the other half). In closing, New Mexicans need to contact their state legislators and demand they begin representing the people and NOT corporations; and that NMDWS start doing their job and pay unemployment benefits; otherwise, the indifference of the politicians in Santa Fe will simply prove that the voters and taxpayers of the state do NOT matter to them!

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