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Jan 24, 2012 2:19 PM by Paul Kavanaugh

State unemployment rate lower

Colorado's unemployment rate decreased to 7.9 percent in December.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment said the number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 12,100 to 2,727,300 and total employment increased 12,300 to 2,511,300 causing the number of unemployed to decline 300.

The national unemployment rate declined two-tenths of one percentage point over the same period to 8.5 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 34.3 to 34.6 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $24.09 to $24.15.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one percentage point from 8.9 percent in December 2010.

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