Colorado unemployment rate rises to 7.7 percent
DENVER, Colorado – The unemployment rate in Colorado crept up to 7.7 percent last month, but the health care sector added jobs.
The jobless rate rose from 7.4 percent in January and 7.3 percent in February 2009.
“Moderate fluctuations in the labor market are expected through the first part of the year as we put 2009 behind us,” Donald Mares, executive director of the Department of Labor and Employment, said Friday in a written statement.
Adjusting for seasonal differences, there were about 2.4 million working Coloradans in February, a drop of about 90,500 from February 2009, the department said. About 202,900 Coloradans were looking for work in February, up from about 198,900 a year earlier.
The national unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent in February.
In Colorado, the construction industry lost the most jobs over the year. The 115,000 people employed in construction in February was about 30,300 fewer than in February 2009, according to the state Labor Department.
However the education and health services sector added about 4,000 jobs in the last year, employing about 259,300 people in February. Government added about 2,000 jobs over the year and employed about 390,800 people last month, the department said.
On Thursday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis released a report showing that Coloradans’ personal income fell last year from 2008. On a per capita basis, incomes fell 3.9 percent from $43,021 in 2008 to $41,344 in 2009.