Colorado Employment Situation - January 2019

For Immediate Release
Date: March 11, 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

Important note: It is a routine practice at the beginning of each year for the Bureau of Labor Statistics to revise estimates for prior years based on new information available and updated methodologies. Revisions to the unemployment rate and all related household survey based series as a result of the benchmark process this year were made back to 2010. The nonfarm payroll jobs series for 2017 and 2018 were also revised in the benchmarking process. Updates to seasonal factors caused minor revisions back to January 2014.

Employers in Colorado added 9,800 nonfarm payroll jobs from November to December for a total of 2,762,200 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 9,100 and government increased 700. November estimates were revised up to 2,752,400, and the over the month change from October to November was an increase of 4,400 rather than the originally estimated increase of 1,800.
According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point from November to December to 3.5 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 9,600 over the month to 3,118,200 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 4,100 to 3,010,300. The larger increase in the labor force than in total employment caused the number of unemployed to increase 5,500 and the unemployment rate to increase to 3.5 percent. The national unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point in December to 3.9 percent.
Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.3 to 33.6 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $28.13 to $29.63.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in education and health services, professional and business services, and manufacturing. There were no significant private sector over the month declines.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 75,400, with an increase of 68,400 in the private sector and an increase of 7,000 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and trade, transportation, and utilities. There were no significant private sector over the year declines.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is up five-tenths of a percentage point from 3.0 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 88,400, total employment increased 72,400 and the number of unemployed increased 16,100. The national unemployment rate declined from 4.1 percent in December 2017 to 3.9 percent in December 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 January 2019 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Monday, March 11, 2019. Revised statewide estimates for 2018 and 2017 and some updated local information will also be released. 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.