The state’s unemployment rate hasn’t changed much in the past year. Still, the March 2010 numbers are slightly worse than those from March 2009.

The unemployment rate increased two-tenths of one percentage point, to 7.9 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (via INDenverTimes). Donald Mares, the department’s director, attributes the rise to “improving” market conditions that are “encouraging Coloradans to return to the labor force.”

Taking into account seasonal differences, about 2.44 million Coloradans were employed last month, compared with 2.52 million a year before, notes The Associated Press.

The federal government led the way in creating new jobs—mostly temporary Census workers—while the construction industry faced the largest decline. And there’s bad news for companies laying off workers during the recession. They’re facing steep hikes in recent unemployment-insurance taxes, further complicating their efforts to recover economically and eventually hire new workers, writes The Denver Post.