Colorado unemployment rate drops to 7.9 percent

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DENVER — Colorado’s unemployment rate dropped from 8.0 percent to 7.9 percent last month, the Colorado Dept. of Labor and Employment announced Tuesday.

Non-farm payroll jobs increased 8,600 from September to October to 2,310,100 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 8,500 and government increased 100.

The decrease in the unemployment rate was caused by a larger increase in the number of people reporting their status as employed than the increase in those actively participating in the labor force.

The national unemployment rate increased one tenth of one percentage point over the same period to 7.9 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private non-farm payrolls decreased from 35.4 to 35.0 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $24.31 to $24.67.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in professional and business services, education and health services, trade, transportation and utilities, and manufacturing. There were no significant over the month declines.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 42,100. Private sector payroll jobs increased 38,800 and government increased 3,300. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, education and health services, and trade, transportation and utilities. The only sector that declined over the year was information.

Over the year, the unemployment rate declined two tenths of one percentage point from 8.1 percent in October 2011. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force decreased 1,200, total employment increased 4,700 and the number of unemployed decreased 5,900. The national unemployment rate declined from 8.9 percent in October 2011 to 7.9 percent in October 2012.