Press Release: Colorado Employment Situation – April 2023

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7,200 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in April;
Unemployment Rate Flat at 2.8 Percent

Household survey data

  • According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged from March to April at 2.8 percent. The number of unemployed individuals fell by 1,800 over the same time period to 89,300. Colorado’s unemployment rate has been below 3.0 percent for twelve consecutive months and remains at pre-pandemic levels. The national unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.4 percent from March to April.

  • Colorado’s labor force increased by 7,500 in April to 3,234,900. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force rose to 68.6 percent in April, compared to 68.5 percent the month prior. The U.S. labor force participation rate was 62.6 percent in April and was unchanged from the month prior.

  • The number of individuals employed in Colorado grew by 9,300 in April to 3,145,500, which represents 66.7 percent of the state’s 16+ population. The employment-population ratio of 66.7 percent in April surpassed the pre-pandemic rate of 66.6 percent in February 2020. The national employment-population ratio was flat in April from the month prior at 60.4 percent.

Establishment survey data

  • Nonfarm payroll jobs in Colorado grew by 7,200 from March to April for a total of 2,890,000 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased by 6,500, while government added 700 jobs.

  • March estimates were revised up to 2,882,800, and the over the month change from February to March was a loss of 1,700 rather than the originally estimated drop of 4,700 (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 (≈4,400), professional and business services (≈3,900), and construction (≈1,800). Significant over the month private sector declines occurred in other services (≈2,100), financial activities (≈1,400), and trade, transportation, and utilities (≈1,400).

  • Since April 2022, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 22,300, with the private sector growing by 13,100 and government adding 9,200 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality (≈17,300), professional and business services (≈12,300), and educational and health services (≈3,000). During that same period trade, transportation, and utilities (≈9,800), financial activities (≈9,300), information (≈1,700), construction (≈700), and other services (≈200) payroll jobs declined. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 0.8 percent, lagging the U.S. rate of 2.6 percent.

  • Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.3 to 33.5 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $34.24 to $35.79, two dollars and forty-three cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $33.36.


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:

For data visualizations, visit

The May 2023 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, June 16, 2023. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2023 estimates is available at


Technical Notes

This release provides information on industry employment and labor force statistics for April 2023, 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.

Resources Mentioned

Supplemental Information
Labor Force Summary April 2023
City Report April 2023
County Report April 2023
April 2023 Press Release