March 2016 Employment Situation

Employers in Colorado added 5,500 nonfarm payroll jobs from February to March for a total of 2,594,300 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 5,300 and government increased 200.  

US and Colorado Nonfarm Payroll Jobs: Over the Year Growth Rate 2011 to Present

 According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in March to 2.9 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 15,700 to 2,877,300 and total employment increased 17,000 to 2,793,600 causing the number of unemployed to decrease 1,300 and the unemployment rate to decline to 2.9 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 34.4 to 33.2 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $26.81 to $27.35.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in construction and leisure and hospitality. The largest over the month private sector job declines were in mining and logging and professional and business services.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 71,000 with an increase of 61,800 in the private sector and an increase of 9,200 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and construction. Mining and logging declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down one and one-tenth of a percentage point from 4.0 percent and is at the lowest level since it was 2.8 percent in February 2001. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 56,800, total employment increased 86,900 and the number of unemployed decreased 30,200. The national unemployment rate declined from 5.5 percent in March 2015 to 5.0 percent in March 2016.

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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 April 2016 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, May 20, 2016. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2016 estimates is available at http://www.colmigateway.com.

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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:    April 15, 2016/ 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