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Press Release: Colorado Employment Situation – January 2024

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8,000 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in January;
Unemployment Rate Rises to 3.4 Percent

Household survey data

  • According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point in January to 3.4 percent compared to the revised December rate of 3.3 percent. The number of unemployed individuals grew by 2,600 over the same time period to 110,200. The national unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7 percent from December to January.
  • Colorado’s labor force decreased by 2,500 in January to 3,237,200. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force declined to 68.1 percent in January, compared to 68.3 percent the month prior. The U.S. labor force participation rate was 62.5 percent in January, identical to the month prior.
  • The number of individuals employed in Colorado contracted by 5,100 in January to 3,127,100, which represents 65.8 percent of the state’s 16+ population. Colorado’s employment-population ratio of 65.8 in January was two-tenths of a percentage point lower compared to the December rate of 66.0 percent. The national employmentpopulation ratio increased one-tenth of a percentage point in January to 60.2 percent.


Establishment survey data

  • Employers in Colorado added 8,000 nonfarm payroll jobs from December to January for a total of 2,969,400 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs grew by 5,600, while government rose by 2,400 jobs.
  • Private industry sectors with significant job gains in January were: professional and business services (≈4,800) and manufacturing (≈1,700). Significant over the month private sector job loss occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities (≈1,800).
  • Since January 2023, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 57,900, with the private sector growing by 33,500 and government adding 24,400 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in educational and health services (≈15,300), professional and business services (≈10,600), and leisure and hospitality (≈9,600). During that same period trade, transportation, and utilities (≈3,800), information (≈2,000), construction (≈1,000), and manufacturing (≈900) payroll jobs declined. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 2.0 percent, slightly exceeding the U.S. rate of 1.9 percent.
  • Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls declined from 33.5 to 32.4 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $35.90 to $37.23, two dollars and sixty-eight cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $34.55.


Annual averages and benchmark revisions to 2023 data

The annual unemployment rate for Colorado was 3.2 percent in 2023, revised up from the previously published 3.1 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate in 2023 was 3.6 percent.

Colorado nonfarm payroll employment increased at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in 2023, or 72,700 jobs. The U.S. annual payroll jobs growth rate in 2023 was 2.3 percent.

In accordance with annual practice, both establishment and household survey data estimates for Colorado undergo a benchmarking process. The benchmark process results in revisions to estimates for prior years. More information on the benchmarking process is available at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.


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 February 2024 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, March 22, 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 January 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

Supplemental Information
Labor Force Summary January 2024
City Report January 2024
County Report January 2024
County Report 2023 - 2024
January 2024 Press Release