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Press Release: Colorado Employment Situation – February 2024

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8,500 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in February;
Unemployment Rate Rises to 3.5 Percent

Household survey data

  • According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point in February to 3.5 percent compared to the January rate of 3.4 percent. The number of unemployed individuals grew by 4,200 over the same time period to 114,400. The national unemployment rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.9 percent from January to February.
  • Colorado’s labor force decreased by 1,800 in February to 3,235,500. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force remained at 68.1 percent in February, identical to the month prior. The U.S. labor force participation rate was 62.5 percent in February, identical to the two months prior.
  • The number of individuals employed in Colorado declined by 6,000 in February to 3,121,000, which represents 65.6 percent of the state’s 16+ population. Colorado’s employment-population ratio of 65.6 in February was two-tenths of a percentage point lower compared to the January rate of 65.8 percent. The national employmentpopulation ratio decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in February to 60.1 percent..


Establishment survey data

  • Employers in Colorado added 8,500 nonfarm payroll jobs from January to February for a total of 2,975,800 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs grew by 6,500, while government added 2,000 jobs.
  • January estimates were revised down to 2,967,300, and the over the month change from December to January was a gain of 5,900 rather than the originally estimated increase of 8,000 (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 February were: educational and health services (≈3,400), construction (≈1,200), and professional and business services (≈1,100). There were no significant over the month declines.
  • Since February 2023, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 60,300, with the private sector growing by 33,500 and government adding 26,800 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in educational and health services (≈18,900), professional and business services (≈10,100), and leisure and hospitality (≈8,300). During that same period, payroll jobs declined in trade, transportation, and utilities (≈4,400), information (≈1,900), and manufacturing (≈1,600). Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 2.1 percent, outpacing the U.S. rate of 1.8 percent.
  • Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.0 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $35.27 to $37.19, two dollars and sixty-two cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $34.57.


Informational Section

All Colorado estimates from the establishment and household surveys, including greater geographic detail, are available at Colorado LMI Gateway. Estimates for all states and the nation are available at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

For data visualizations, visit CDLE’s Labor Market Information on Tableau.

The March 2024 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, April 19, 2024. The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2024 estimates is available at Colorado LMI Gateway.


Technical Notes

This release provides information on industry employment and labor force statistics for February 2024, 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

February 2024 Press Release