Office workers

The state’s unemployment rate decreased slightly to 2.6% in October, down one-tenth of a percentage point from the prior month, the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment announced on Tuesday.

The department noted that this rate is the lowest since tracking began in 1976. The same rate was recorded from February through June 2017. One year ago, unemployment was a full percentage point higher.

At the same time, the national unemployment rate trended in the opposite direction, inching upward from 3.5% to 3.6%.

In Colorado, average hourly earnings increased over the past year, with nonfarm payroll jobs increasing by 52,700. Of those jobs, 83% were in the private sector.

No part of the private sector experienced significant job losses, and those experiencing the highest gains included professional and business services; educational and health services; and trade, transportation and utilities.

"Colorado typically has a very diverse economy, a younger population in general, and faster wage growth," said senior economist Ryan Gedney after the numbers' release. "I can’t point to any one thing that’s continuing what is now a historically-long economic expansion."

The Denver-Aurora Metropolitan Statistical Area had an even lower rate of employment, at 2.3%. More than half of the state’s civilian jobs are in this region.

The largest employer in Colorado is Amazon, followed by Vail Resorts and UCHealth. The occupations with the greatest number of openings are food service and retail.

Editor's note: This story has been updated.

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