Colorado Employment Situation April 2016

Total nonfarm payroll jobs declined 2,000 from March to April to 2,593,800 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs decreased 2,800 and government increased 800.  

Graph US and Colorado Unemployment rateAccording to the survey of households, the unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point in April to 3.1 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 11,300 over the month to 2,888,800 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 6,100 to 2,799,900. The larger increase in the labor force than in total employment caused the number of unemployed to increase 5,200 and the unemployment rate to increase to 3.1 percent. The national unemployment rate remained unchanged over the same period at 5.0 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 33.6 to 33.2 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $26.85 to $27.44.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in education and health services and construction. The largest over the month private sector job declines were in professional and business services, trade, transportation, and utilities, and leisure and hospitality.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 67,700 with an increase of 57,900 in the private sector and an increase of 9,800 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and construction. Mining and logging declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down nine-tenths of a percentage point from 4.0 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 68,400, total employment increased 92,000 and the number of unemployed decreased 23,600. The national unemployment rate declined from 5.4 percent in April 2015 to 5.0 percent in April 2016.

All Colorado estimates from the establishment and household surveys, including greater geographic detail, are available at: Estimates for all states and the nation are available at:

The May 2016 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, June 17, 2016. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2016 estimates is available at

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 20, 2016/ 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