November 2015 Colorado Employment Situation

Total nonfarm payroll jobs declined 2,100 from October to November to 2,528,400 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs decreased 1,700 and government decreased 400.

US and Colorado Unemployment Rate GraphAccording to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point in November to 3.6 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 4,300 to 2,811,600 and total employment increased 8,000 to 2,709,600 causing the number of unemployed to decrease 3,700 and the unemployment rate to decline to 3.6 percent. The national unemployment rate remained unchanged from October to November at 5.0 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 34.4 to 34.1 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $26.66 to $27.32.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in construction and leisure and hospitality. The largest over the month declines were in professional and business services, financial activities, and other services.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 44,200 with an increase of 40,200 in the private sector and an increase of 4,000 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, education and health services, and construction. The largest private sector job declines were in information, trade, transportation, and utilities, and mining.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down seven-tenths of a percentage point from 4.3 percent and is at the lowest level since June 2007. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force decreased 12,000, total employment increased 7,600, and the number of unemployed decreased 19,600. The national unemployment rate declined from 5.8 percent in November 2014 to 5.0 in November 2015.

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 December 2015 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, January 26, 2016. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2015 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.

For Immediate Release

Date:    December 18, 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