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A Colorado Department of Labor survey of households found Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell 0.2 percent in October to 5.4 percent. The national unemployment rate also declined by 0.2 percent to 4.6 percent.

Other highlights from the household survey:

  • Colorado’s labor force increased by 3,400 in October to 3,196,800. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force held at 68.2 percent last month. The state continues to experience a faster rate of recovery in the participation rate than the country as a whole.
  • The number of individuals employed in Colorado grew by 11,900 in October to 3,025,500, which represents 64.5 percent of the state’s 16+ population. Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio has trended upward over the past two months.
  • The Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates in October were: Pueblo (6.8%), Huerfano (6.1%), Las Animas (5.5%), Fremont (5.5%), and Pitkin (5.4%). County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are directly comparable to Colorado’s October unadjusted rate of 4.5 percent.

Establishment survey data

According to a DoL survey of business establishments, employers in Colorado added 10,600 nonfarm payroll jobs from September to October for a total of 2,756,300 jobs.

"Private sector payroll jobs increased 10,000 and government added 600 jobs," according to the department. "Over the past 18 months, Colorado has gained back 313,100 of the 375,800 nonfarm payroll jobs lost between February and April of last year. That translates to a job recovery rate of 83.3 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 81.2 percent."

Other highlights from the establishment survey:

According to the DoL, "September estimates were revised up to 2,745,700, and the over the month change from August to September was a gain of 9,700 rather than the originally estimated increase of 5,100 (monthly revisions are based on additional responses from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates)."

Private industry sectors with significant job gains in October included leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation, and utilities; and professional and business services. 

Since October 2020, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 104,600, with the private sector growing by 92,500 jobs and government adding an additional 12,100 jobs, the DoL said, adding the largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality; professional and business services; and trade, transportation, and utilities. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 3.9 percent, compared to the U.S. rate of 4.1 percent.

The department found, over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 33.7 to 33.3 hours, while average hourly earnings increased from $30.83 to $32.54, which was $1.58 more than the national average hourly earnings of $30.96.