Colorado Employment Situation - May 2019

For Immediate Release
Date: June 21, 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

US and Colorado Unemployment RateEmployers in Colorado added 2,200 nonfarm payroll jobs from April to May for a total of 2,766,500 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 900 and government increased 1,300. April estimates were revised down to 2,764,300, and the over the month change from March to April was an increase of 8,600 rather than the originally estimated increase of 9,500.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point from April to May to 3.2 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force decreased 300 over the month to 3,138,400 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 5,700 to 3,039,400. The increase in total employment combined with the decrease in labor force caused the number of unemployed to decrease 6,100 and the unemployment rate to decline to 3.2 percent. Due to rounding, the unemployment rate for April was revised down from 3.4 percent to 3.3 percent. The national unemployment rate was unchanged in May at 3.6 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 33.9 to 33.2 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $28.51 to $30.14.

The largest over the month private sector job gain was in professional and business services. The largest over the month decline was in other services.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 45,900, with an increase of 42,500 in the private sector and an increase of 3,400 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and educational and health services. Financial activities declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is up one-tenth of a percentage point from 3.1 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 55,700, total employment increased 51,500 and the number of unemployed increased 4,200. The national unemployment rate declined from 3.8 percent in May 2018 to 3.6 percent in May 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 June 2019 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, July 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.