Colorado Employment Situation - September 2019

For Immediate Release
Date: October 18, 2019 - 8:00 A.M.
Contact: Office of Government and Public Relations
Phone: Amelia Tenne at (303) 318-8004 or Cher Haavind at (303) 318-8003

Nonfarm payroll jobs in Colorado decreased by 1,900 from August to September to 2,789,100 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Government decreased by 1,200 payroll jobs and the private sector declined by 700. This is the first over the month decline since September 2018. August estimates were revised down to 2,791,000, and the over the month change from July to August was an increase of 400 rather than the originally estimated increase of 9,000.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point from August to September to 2.7 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 5,100 over the month to 3,160,200 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 8,200 to 3,075,000, causing the number of unemployed to decrease 3,100 and the unemployment rate to decline to 2.7 percent. The national unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point in September to 3.5 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 $29.38 to $30.90.

The largest over the month private sector job gain was in professional and business services. There were no significant private sector over the month declines.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 56,900, with an increase of 49,600 in the private sector and an increase of 7,300 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and educational and health services. Financial activities, information, and construction declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down eight-tenths of a percentage point from 3.5 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 39,400, total employment increased 64,900 and the number of unemployed decreased 25,500. The national unemployment rate declined from 3.7 percent in September 2018 to 3.5 percent in September 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 October 2019 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, November 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.