Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased two-tenths of one percentage point to 8.4% in October, according to Donald J. Mares, executive director of the Colorado Dept. of Labor and Employment.

“Despite mixed results in the employment numbers, there are encouraging signs of improvement, including recent increases in online job postings,” said Mares. “Through our innovative partnerships and programs, the workforce system is focused on ensuring job seekers regain employment as quickly as possible.” Last October, the unemployment rate was 7.5%.

The number of working Coloradans fell 5,400 over the month to 2.4 million. The civilian labor force decreased 2,200 to 2.7 million. The number of residents unsuccessfully looking for work increased 3,200 over the month to 222,600. One year ago, total employment was 2.5 million and the number of unemployed was 200,400. The civilian labor force has declined 4,400 since October 2009.

The unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) increased in 38 of Colorado’s 64 counties, decreased in 14 and was unchanged in 12. The lowest rate was 3.5% in Cheyenne County, and the highest was 15.7% in Dolores County. In October 2009, the unemployment rate declined in 33 counties, rose in 19 and remained unchanged in 12.

Last year, the lowest rate was 2.1% in Cheyenne County and the highest was 13.2% in Dolores County.

The monthly survey of Colorado business establishments indicates the number of non-farm wage and salary jobs increased 7,100 in October to 2.2 million.

Employment increased over the month in five of Colorado’s 11 major industry sectors. Education and health services increased 5,000, construction increased 1,800, government increased 1,700, mining and logging increased 1,600, and other services increased 500.

Leisure and hospitality declined 1,000; financial activities declined 800; trade, transportation and utilities declined 700; manufacturing declined 700; professional and business services declined 200; and information declined 100.

Non-farm payroll employment decreased 0.6% over the year, or 12,600, from the October 2009 level of 2.2 million.

Employment in four of Colorado’s 11 major industry sectors increased over the year. Education and health services increased 8,200, mining and logging increased 1,800, professional and business services increased 700, and other services increased 300. The remaining seven industry sectors declined over the year. Construction, down 9,200, continues to post the largest decline of all industry sectors. Information declined 3,400; leisure and hospitality declined 2,900; financial activities declined 2,800; trade, transportation and utilities declined 2,500; manufacturing declined 1,700; and government declined 1,100.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6% in October. Non-farm payroll employment increased 151,000. Since December 2009, non-farm payroll employment has increased by 874,000, and private-sector employment has increased by 1.1 million.