In February, the state of Colorado saw an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent for the first time in four years. According to a report issued on Friday by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment , the declining unemployment rate was bolstered by more than 10,000 private and government jobs that were added in the month. Here are the details.
* A total of 10,100 private sector payroll jobs were added throughout the state from January to February, the department stated, and another 700 government jobs were added during that time.
* The biggest private sector job increases over the month were found in the professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and trade, transportation and utilities sectors. No sector experienced a significant decline.
* According to a survey of business establishments, the department noted, the number of jobs in Colorado stood at 2,352,900 as of February.
* The state has seen an increase of 62,800 nonfarm payroll jobs in the past year, with 60,700 of those in the private sector and the other 2,100 in government.
* Over the year, the department reported, the only private sector with a significant loss of jobs was information.
* As with the month statistics, the biggest job increases for the year were seen in the professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and trade, transportation and utilities sectors, the department reported.
* The February 2013 unemployment rate in Colorado is a full percentage point below the Febuary 2012 rate of 8.2 percent, according to the department.
* The department reported that the top three occupations in the state, as figured by the number of job ads, were registered nurses, retail salespersons, and software developers.
* The top three employers based on job ads were Centura Health, IBM, and Vail Resorts.
* The economic news isn't quite so positive for all of the state, however. According to KREX TV , Mesa County, in western Colorado, currently has an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent -- quite a bit higher than the statewide number as well as the national unemployment rate of 7.7 percent.
* Still, KREX reported, unemployment is decreasing in Mesa County too -- down 0.8 percent in one year. Employee wages there remain well below what they were prior to the recession.
* The average workweek for Colorado employees increased over the year from 34.4 to 34.5 hours and the average hourly wage increased from $24.00 to $25.20. According to the department, the business establishment survey covers about seven times the number of households surveyed and is therefore considered to be a reliable economic indicator.
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