Colorado Employment Situation April 2017

For Immediate Release

Date:    May 19, 2017/ 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

Colorado Nonfarm Payroll Jobs GraphEmployers in Colorado added 1,800 nonfarm payroll jobs from March to April for a total of 2,635,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 3,600 and government decreased 1,800.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased three-tenths of a percentage point in April to 2.3 percent. This is the lowest unemployment rate for Colorado since the series began in 1976. 

The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 12,100 over the month to 2,945,300 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 19,500 to 2,876,900, causing the number of unemployed to decrease 7,300 and the unemployment rate to decline to 2.3 percent. The national unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in April to 4.4 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.2 to 33.6 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $27.42 to $27.72.

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

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 45,700, with an increase of 44,800 in the private sector and an increase of 900 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation, and utilities, and professional and business services. Mining and logging, and information declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one percentage point from 3.3 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 67,900, total employment increased 95,900 and the number of unemployed decreased 28,000. The national unemployment rate declined from 5.0 percent in April 2016 to 4.4 percent in April 2017.


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 2017 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, June 16, 2017. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2017 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.