Colorado Employment Situation - February 2019

For Immediate Release
Date: March 22, 2019 - 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

Employers in Colorado added 700 nonfarm payroll jobs from January to February for a total of 2,749,600 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 1,200 and government decreased 500. January estimates were revised down to 2,748,900, and the over the month change from December to January was an increase of 2,000 rather than the originally estimated increase of 2,400.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate was unchanged from January to February at 3.7 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 3,800 over the month to 3,138,900 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 5,300 to 3,023,600, causing the number of unemployed to decrease 1,500. Due to rounding, the unemployment rate was unchanged from January at 3.7 percent. The national unemployment rate decreased two- tenths of a percentage point in February to 3.8 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 33.3 to 33.1 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $28.42 to $29.93.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in professional and business services and financial activities. The largest over the month decline was in leisure and hospitality. 

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 44,800, with an increase of 41,900 in the private sector and an increase of 2,900 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and trade, transportation, and utilities. Financial activities declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is up eight-tenths of a percentage point from 2.9 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 84,400, total employment increased 56,900 and the number of unemployed increased 27,500. The national unemployment rate declined from 4.1 percent in February 2018 to 3.8 percent in February 2018.

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 2019 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, April 19, 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.