State unemployment rate holds steady

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Colorado employers added 2,600 jobs from February to March, bringing the total number of jobs to 2.29 million.

All the new jobs were in the private sector, according to information from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate was unchanged over the month at 7.8 percent. The national unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percent over the same period to 8.2 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.9 to 34.3 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $23.87 to $24.16.

The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, manufacturing, and education and health services.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 45,800. The private sector payroll jobs increased 46,400 and government declined 600. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services. The only significant decline in private sector payroll jobs was in information.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down seven tenths of a percentage point from 8.5 percent in March 2011. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 12,100, total employment increased 29,200 and the number of unemployed decreased 17,100. The national unemployment rate declined from 8.9 to 8.2 percent from March 2011 to March 2012.