DENVER (AP) – Colorado’s unemployment rate reached 8.8 percent in December, which could qualify the state’s job seekers for an extra six weeks of unemployment benefits.

Federal law allows states with a three-month average unemployment rate of at least 8.5 percent to receive the extension in benefits. Colorado is awaiting official notification that it qualifies.

The state labor department said Tuesday that Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 8.8 percent in December, up from 8.6 percent in November and 7.3 percent in December 2009.

The labor department says Colorado has had four straight months of job growth, but the number of job seekers also is rising.

The national unemployment rate was 9.4 percent in December.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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