Colorado Employment Situation For September 2016

For immediate release

Date: October 21, 2016
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

Total nonfarm payroll jobs declined 300 from August to September to 2,621,400 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 2,600 and government decreased 2,900.  

U.S. and Colorado Unemployment RateAccording to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of percentage point in September to 3.6 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 6,700 over the month to 2,898,000 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 11,300 to 2,793,500. The increase in total employment combined with the increase in the labor force caused the number of unemployed to decline 4,600 and the unemployment rate to decrease to 3.6 percent. The national unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point over the same period to 5.0 percent.
Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 33.9 to 33.6 hours and average hourly earnings decreased from $26.81 to $26.80.

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 manufacturing and financial activities.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 69,200 with an increase of 59,500 in the private sector and an increase of 9,700 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in construction, leisure and hospitality, and education and health services. Mining and logging declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is unchanged at 3.6 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 74,900, total employment increased 73,200 and the number of unemployed increased by 1,700. The national unemployment rate declined from 5.1 percent in September 2015 to 5.0 percent in September 2016.

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 October 2016 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, November 18, 2016. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2016 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.