Colorado Employment Situation - August 2019

For Immediate Release
Date: September 20, 2019 - 8:00 A.M.
Contact: Office of Government and Public Relations
Phone: Cher Haavind at (303) 318-8003
Fax: (303) 318-8070

Employers in Colorado added 9,000 nonfarm payroll jobs from July to August for a total of 2,799,600 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 5,300 and government increased 3,700. July estimates were revised up to 2,790,600, and the over the month change from June to July was an increase of 10,800 rather than the originally estimated increase of 7,200.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point from July to August to 2.8 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 6,200 over the month to 3,155,500 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 8,400 to 3,067,200, causing the number of unemployed to decrease 2,200 and the unemployment rate to decline to 2.8 percent. The national unemployment rate was unchanged in August at 3.7 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 33.8 to 33.5 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $28.90 to $30.11.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in educational and health services, financial activities, and trade, transportation, and utilities. The largest over the month decline was in information.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 64,900, with an increase of 54,900 in the private sector and an increase of 10,000 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, educational and health services, and leisure and hospitality. Information declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down six-tenths of a percentage point from 3.4 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 44,200, total employment increased 62,800 and the number of unemployed decreased 18,500. The national unemployment rate declined from 3.8 percent in August 2018 to 3.7 percent in August 2019.

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 September 2019 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, October 18, 2019. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2019 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.