February 2015 Colorado Employment Situation

Employers in Colorado added 12,200 nonfarm payroll jobs from January to February for a total of 2,510,600 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 8,200 and government increased 4,000. Colorado has had payroll job gains in 39 of the last 40 months. The only decline occurred from September to October 2014, when payroll jobs decreased 1,000 over the month.

Over the month change graph of Colorado nonfarm payroll jobs

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate was unchanged from January to February 2015 at 4.2 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 3,400 to 2,831,600 and total employment increased 2,700 to 2,712,700 causing the number of unemployed to increase 700. Due to rounding, the unemployment rate was unchanged from January at 4.2 percent. The national unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of one percentage point over the same period to 5.5 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 35.0 to 34.4 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $26.20 to $26.71.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in construction and manufacturing. Other services declined over the month.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 79,400 with an increase of 74,700 in the private sector and an increase of 4,700 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in construction, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. Information declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one and four-tenths of a percentage point from 5.6 percent in February 2014. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 34,000, total employment increased 73,000 and the number of unemployed decreased 39,000. The national unemployment rate declined from 6.7 to 5.5 percent from February 2014 to February 2015.

All Colorado estimates from the establishment and household surveys, including greater geographic detail, are available at: http://www.colmigateway.com. Estimates for all states and the nation are available at: http://www.bls.gov.

The March 2015 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2015 estimates is available at http://www.colmigateway.com.

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.

For Immediate Release

Date:    March 27, 2015/ 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
Web:    http://www.colmigateway.com