14,600 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in April;
Unemployment Rate Falls Slightly to 3.6%
Household survey data
According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point in April to 3.6 percent. This marks the lowest rate since February 2020, when it was 2.8 percent. The national unemployment rate was also 3.6 percent in April, unchanged from the month prior.
Other highlights from the household survey:
Colorado’s labor force grew by 13,600 in April to 3,225,600. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force improved to 69.1 percent last month, the highest rate since March 2020. The state continues to experience a much faster rate of recovery in the participation rate than the U.S.
The number of individuals employed in Colorado increased by 15,400 in April to 3,108,800, which represents 66.6 percent of the state’s 16+ population. Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio has surpassed the pre-pandemic, February 2020 level, when it was 66.5 percent.
The Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates in April were: Huerfano (6.1%), Pueblo (5.1%), Fremont (4.8%), Las Animas (4.7%), and Rio Grande (4.5%). County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are directly comparable to Colorado’s April unadjusted rate of 3.1 percent.
Establishment survey data
Employers in Colorado added 14,600 nonfarm payroll jobs from March to April for a total of 2,848,600 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 15,100 and government shed 500 jobs. Over the past two years, Colorado has added 403,500 nonfarm payroll jobs, compared to losses totaling 374,500 in March and April 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 107.7 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 94.6 percent.
Since May 2020, Colorado’s private sector has grown by 407,600 jobs, compared to declines of 358,800 in early 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 113.6 percent and outpaces the U.S. rate of 97.6 percent.
Other highlights from the establishment survey:
March estimates were revised down to 2,834,000, and the over the month change from February to March was a gain of 5,300 rather than the originally estimated increase of 5,800 (monthly revisions are based on additional responses from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates).
Private industry sectors with significant job gains in April were: leisure and hospitality (~6,400), trade, transportation, and utilities (~3,200), professional and business services (~3,000), construction (~1,900), and education and health services (~1,100). There were no industries with significant over the month declines.
Since April 2021, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 129,000, with the private sector growing by 121,900 and government adding 7,100 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality (~44,900), professional and business services (~31,000), and trade, transportation, and utilities (~17,900). No industry experienced job loss during that same period. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 4.7 percent, which marginally exceeds the U.S. rate of 4.6 percent.
Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 33.5 to 33.3 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $31.23 to $34.34, nearly two dollars and fifty cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $31.85.
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 May 2022 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, June 17, 2022. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2022 estimates is available at http://www.colmigateway.com.
This release provides information on industry employment and labor force statistics for April 2022, the most current estimates available from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The reference period for the establishment and household surveys was the pay period or week that includes the 12th of the month.
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.
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 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.