April 2015 Colorado Employment Situation

Employers in Colorado added 4,200 nonfarm payroll jobs from March to April for a total of 2,509,100 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 3,000 and government increased 1,200.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate was unchanged from March to April 2015 at 4.2 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force decreased 3,600 to 2,829,400 and total employment decreased 5,400 to 2,709,400 causing the number of unemployed to increase 1,800. Due to rounding, the unemployment rate remains unchanged at 4.2 percent for the fifth consecutive month. The national unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of one percentage point from March to April to 5.4 percent. Since December 2014, the U.S. unemployment rate has declined just two tenths of a percentage point, following a pattern similar to the Colorado unemployment rate.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 34.1 to 33.6 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $26.35 to $26.85.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, other services, and education and health services. The largest over the month declines were in financial activities and trade, transportation and utilities.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 63,200 with an increase of 57,500 in the private sector and an increase of 5,700 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in education and health services, construction, and leisure and hospitality. Information declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one and two-tenths of a percentage point from 5.4 percent in April 2014. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 19,700, total employment increased 50,100 and the number of unemployed decreased 30,400. The national unemployment rate declined from 6.2 to 5.4 percent from April 2014 to April 2015.

All Colorado estimates from the establishment and household surveys, including greater geographic detail, are available at: http://www.colmigateway.com. Estimates for all states and the nation are available at: http://www.bls.gov.

The May 2015 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, June 19, 2015. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2015 estimates is available at http://www.colmigateway.com.

Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates are based on a survey of business establishments and government agencies, and are intended to measure the number of jobs, not the number of people employed. Other series based on this survey include private sector average weekly hours, average hourly earnings and average weekly earnings.

The unemployment rate, labor force, labor force participation, total employment and the number of unemployed are based on a survey of households. The total employment estimate derived from this survey is intended to measure the number of people employed.

The business establishment survey covers about seven times the number of households surveyed and is therefore considered a more reliable indicator of economic conditions. Because the estimates are based on two separate surveys, one measuring jobs by worksite and the other measuring persons employed and unemployed by household, estimates based on these surveys may provide seemingly conflicting results.

For Immediate Release

Date:    May 27, 2015/ 8:00 A.M.

Contact:    Office of Government and Public Relations
Phone:    Bill Thoennes at (303) 318-8004 or Cher Haavind at (303) 318-8003
Fax:    (303) 318-8070
Web:  http://www.colmigateway.com