September 2015 Colorado Employment Situation

Employers in Colorado added 2,000 nonfarm payroll jobs from August to September for a total of 2,523,700 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 4,000 and government decreased 2,000.

Chart of U.S. and Colorado Unemployment Rate

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point in September to 4.0 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force decreased 1,300 over the month to 2,805,200 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 5,500 to 2,693,800. The increase in total employment combined with the decrease in labor force caused the number of unemployed to decrease 6,800 and the unemployment rate to decline to 4.0 percent. The national unemployment rate remained unchanged from August to September at 5.1 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 34.3 to 33.9 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $26.34 to $26.90.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and manufacturing. The largest over the month decline was in construction.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 41,500 with an increase of 33,300 in the private sector and an increase of 8,200 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and construction. Professional and business services and information declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down five-tenths of a percentage point from 4.5 percent in September 2014. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force decreased 15,900, total employment was unchanged and the number of unemployed decreased 15,800. The national unemployment rate declined from 5.9 to 5.1 percent from September 2014 to September 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 October 2015 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, November 20, 2015. 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:    October 20, 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