State unemployment rate declines slightly

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Colorado’s unemployment rate dropped a tenth of a percentage point from March to April, the first month-to-month decrease since October 2007.However, labor officials cautioned that further jobless-rate increases lie ahead.

The April statewide rate was 7.4 percent, down from 7.5 percent in March, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported.

The April 7.4 percent jobless rate for Colorado is a full 1.5 points better than the national rate of 8.9 percent.

The estimated number of Coloradans employed in civilian jobs rose 13,200 in April from the previous month, to 2,534,800, seasonally adjusted.

Total Colorado unemployment declined by 2,200 during April, to 201,300, but the number is still 74,000 higher than it was last April.

First-time filings for unemployment benefits are about twice now what they were a year ago, and the number of continued weeks claimed for unemployment insurance also remains at very high levels, the report said.

The greatest Colorado job gains in April from the previous months, not seasonally adjusted, were in professional and business services, up 2,200 jobs to 320,900; construction, up 900 jobs to 136,600; and education and health services, up 700 jobs to 256,800.

On the other hand, leisure and hospitality lost 4,600 Colorado positions in April from the previous month, to 265,700; services shed 1,600 jobs, to 92,400; manufacturing was down 1,200, to 132,600; and trade, transportation and utilities collectively were down 1,100, to 409,700.