While employers are still adding jobs in Colorado, fewer people are also participating in the labor force, according to information from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.
The latest figures for August show that the state’s companies added 2,400 jobs for a total of 2.5 million jobs statewide. Private sector payroll jobs increased by 1,600 and government positions increased by 800, according to the department’s survey of business establishments.
The household survey shows another side to the employment picture: the number of people actively participating in the labor force decreased by 5,900 from July to August and the number of people reporting themselves as employed decreased by 2,300.
The larger decrease in labor force participation caused the number of unemployed to drop to 3,700 and the overall unemployment rate to decrease to 4.2 percent, the department said in a press release. Nationally, the unemployment rate decreased to 5.1 percent.
Other good news: the average workweek increased form 34.5 hours to 24.8 and hourly earnings on average increased fro $26.01 to $26.99.
The biggest job gains in Colorado for the month of August were in education, health services, professional jobs and construction. The declines for the month were in leisure, transportation and utilities.
Payroll jobs increased 47,000 from this time last year — 36,900 in the private sector and 10,100 in government. The largest private-sector gains for the year were education, health services, leisure and construction. Professional and business services, information and other services all declined during the year.
Overall, the unemployment rate dropped from 4.6 percent in August 2014 to 4.2 percent this year, and the national unemployment rate declined from 6.1 to 5.1 percent from August 2014.