Colorado Employment Situation for February 2017

For immediate release

Date: March 24, 2017
Contact: Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations
Bill Thoennes at (303) 318-8004 or Cher Haavind at (303) 318-8003
Fax: (303) 318-8070

Nonfarm PayrollEmployers in Colorado added 2,000 nonfarm payroll jobs from January to February for a total of 2,631,500 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 4,900 and government decreased 2,900.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate was unchanged from January to February at 2.9 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 10,400 over the month to 2,922,500 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 10,300 to 2,837,800. Due to rounding, both the number of unemployed and unemployment rate were unchanged from January. The national unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in February to 4.7 percent.
Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 33.2 to 32.7 hours and average hourly earnings decreased from $27.47 to $27.20.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in construction and professional and business services. The largest over the month declines were in financial activities and education and health services.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 50,300, with an increase of 45,200 in the private sector and an increase of 5,100 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, education and health services, and trade, transportation, and utilities. Mining and logging and manufacturing declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down four-tenths of a percentage point from 3.3 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 52,600, total employment increased 64,000 and the number of unemployed decreased 11,400. The national unemployment rate declined from 4.9 percent in February 2016 to 4.7 percent in February 2017.
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 March 2017 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, April 21, 2017. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2017 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.

Links to Additional Documents:

Labor Force Summary (Excel Spreadsheet)
Counties Unemployment Rates (Excel Spreadsheet)
U.S. and Colorado Nonfarm Payroll Jobs 2011 - Present (jpg graphic)