DENVER (AP) – Unemployment in Colorado dropped slightly in October as the state added 8,800 new jobs.

The state’s unemployment rate declined two-tenths of a percentage point to 8.1 percent in October, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment reported Tuesday. All but 900 of the new jobs added were in the private sector, mainly in professional and businesses services, leisure and hospitality and construction.

Nationally, the unemployment rate declined by one-tenth of a percentage point to 9 percent in October as jobless rates fell in three-quarters of U.S. states.

“While we have a ways to go to recover all of the jobs due to the Great Recession, job creation today is stronger than it was a year ago,” the department’s executive director, Ellen Golombek, said in a statement.

Colorado lost 151,000 jobs between April 2008 and January 2010, said the department’s chief economist, Alexandra Hall. Since January 2010 the state has added about 44,000 jobs, less than a third of what was lost, but over 30,000 of those jobs have been added in 2011.

“That means we’re building momentum,” Hall said.

As the number of jobs continues to grow, she said the state’s unemployment rate could grow a bit as discouraged people start to look for work again.

The 8,800 jobs figure is based on a survey of businesses and includes part-time and full-time positions.

A federal measure of the jobless rate that includes people who have stopped looking for work and part-time workers who would rather work full-time puts Colorado’s unemployment rate at 15.4 percent.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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