Colorado Employment Situation - September 2018

For Immediate Release
Date: October 19, 2018 - 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 5,100 nonfarm payroll jobs from August to September for a total of 2,748,100 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 4,400 and government increased 700. August estimates were revised up to 2,743,000, and the over the month increase from July to August was 4,000 rather than the originally estimated 1,500.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point from August to September to 3.1 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 5,300 over the month to 3,096,000 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 1,300 to 3,001,500. The larger increase in the labor force than in total employment caused the number of unemployed to increase 4,000 and the unemployment rate to increase to 3.1 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point in September to 3.7 percent. This is the lowest unemployment rate for the U.S. since it was 3.5 percent in December 1969.  
Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.5 to 34.3 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $27.77 to $29.40.

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

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 77,200, with an increase of 68,200 in the private sector and an increase of 9,000 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and construction. Other services declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is up one-tenth of a percentage point from 3.0 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 72,300, total employment increased 68,500 and the number of unemployed increased 3,800. The national unemployment rate declined from 4.2 percent in September 2017 to 3.7 percent in September 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 October 2018 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, November 16, 2018. The full schedule of release dates for the calendar year 2018 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.