Colorado Employment Situation October 2017

For Immediate Release

Date:    November 17, 2017/ 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

Colorado Nonfarm Payroll Jobs GraphEmployers in Colorado added 1,400 nonfarm payroll jobs from September to October for a total of 2,659,000 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 4,300 and government decreased 2,900.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point from September to October to 2.7 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 10,500 over the month to 3,020,600 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 5,700 to 2,939,300. The larger increase in the labor force than in total employment caused the number of unemployed to increase to 4,800 and the unemployment rate to increase to 2.7 percent. The national unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in October to 4.1 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 34.2 to 34.0 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $27.23 to $27.96.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in construction, information, and leisure and hospitality. The largest over the month declines were in education and health services and trade, transportation, and utilities.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 37,800, with an increase of 37,400 in the private sector and an increase of 400 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, trade, transportation, and utilities, and education and health services.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down four-tenths of a percentage point from 3.1 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 115,500, total employment increased 125,200 and the number of unemployed decreased 9,700. The national unemployment rate declined from 4.8 percent in October 2016 to 4.1 percent in October 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 November 2017 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, December 22, 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.