UN­EM­PLOY­MENT RATE UN­CHANGED IN COLORADO AT 2.9%

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Em­i­lie Rusch

Colorado’s un­em­ploy­ment rate in Fe­bru­ary stayed at dot-com-boom lows as the state added a mod­est num­ber of jobs, ac­cord­ing to a re­port Fri­day from the Colorado De­part­ment of La­bor and Em­ploy­ment.

Em­ploy­ers in­creased their pay­rolls by 2,000 non­farm jobs from Jan­uary to Fe­bru­ary, with the pri­vate sec­tor adding 4,900 jobs and gov­ern­ment drop­ping 2,900 jobs. To­tal pay­roll em­ploy­ment rose to 2,631,500 jobs, ac­cord­ing to a sur­vey of em­ploy­ers.

At 2.9 per­cent, the un­em­ploy­ment rate re­mained un­changed month over month due to round­ing. The last time un­em­ploy­ment was lower was in Fe­bru­ary 2001, at 2.8 per­cent, said Ryan Ged­ney, a se­nior econ­o­mist with the de­part­ment.

“Based on his­tor­i­cal data, I would think we’re reach­ing that point where we’re not go­ing to see the un­em­ploy­ment rate drop much fur­ther,” Ged­ney said.

Na­tion­ally, the un­em­ploy­ment rate fell to 4.7 per­cent in Fe­bru­ary from 4.8 per­cent in Jan­uary.

The num­ber of peo­ple ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in Colorado’s la­bor force in­creased 10,400 in Fe­bru­ary to 2,922,500, ac­cord­ing to a sep­a­rate sur­vey of house­holds. The num­ber of peo­ple re­port­ing them­selves as em­ployed rose 10,300 to 2,837,800.

The largest month-over-month pri­vate sec­tor gains were in con­struc­tion, and pro­fes­sional and busi­ness ser­vices, while the largest losses were in fi­nan­cial ac­tiv­i­ties, and ed­u­ca­tion and health ser­vices.

Av­er­age hourly earn­ings fell to $27.20 from $27.47 year over year, ac­cord­ing to the re­port.

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