State unemployment rate dropped slightly last year

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The Colorado unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percent from January 2011 to January 2012 to 7.8 percent, according to the Colorado Bureau of Labor and Employment.

The national unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of one percent to 8.3 percent.

The largest monthly private sector job gains were in construction, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality. There were no significant over the month declines n the private sector.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 43,400 with an increase of 44,500 in the private sector and a decrease of 1,100 in government. The largest private sector gains were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down a single percentage point from 8.8 percent in January 2011. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 7,000, total employment increased 32,400 and the number of unemployed decreased 25,400. The national unemployment rate declined from 9.1 percent to 8.3 percent from January 2011 to January 2012.