Press Release: Colorado Employment Situation – July 2022

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Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.3% in July; 2,200 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added


Household survey data

According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell one-tenth of a percentage point in July to 3.3 percent. This marks the lowest rate since February 2020, when it was 2.8 percent. The national unemployment rate also declined by one-tenth of a percentage point and reached the pre-pandemic rate of 3.5 percent.

Other highlights from the household survey:

  • Colorado’s labor force grew by 1,700 in July to 3,250,500. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force was flat in July at 69.5 percent, the highest rate since March 2020.
  • The number of individuals employed in Colorado increased by 5,700 in July to 3,142,800, which represents 67.2 percent of the state’s 16+ population. Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio has risen for seven consecutive months and is at its highest level since January 2009, which was 67.3 percent.
  • The Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates in July were: Huerfano (6.0%), Pueblo (5.2%), Las Animas (4.9%), Fremont (4.7%), and Rio Grande (4.6%). County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are directly comparable to Colorado’s July unadjusted rate of 3.3 percent.


Establishment survey data

Employers in Colorado added 2,200 nonfarm payroll jobs from June to July for a total of 2,862,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 200 and government added 2,000 jobs. Over the past 27 months, Colorado has added 417,800 nonfarm payroll jobs, compared to losses totaling 374,500 in March and April 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 111.6 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 100.1 percent. With July gains, the U.S. has fully recovered the total nonfarm jobs lost in early 2020, five months after Colorado reached that milestone.

Since May 2020, Colorado’s private sector has grown by 417,800 jobs, compared to declines of 358,800 in early 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 116.4 percent and outpaces the U.S. rate of 103.0 percent.

Other highlights from the establishment survey:

  • June estimates were revised up to 2,860,700, and the over the month change from May to June was a gain of 7,800 rather than the originally estimated increase of 4,500 (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 July were: professional and business services (~3,300). Significant over the month private sector job loss occurred in trade, transportation, and utilities (~2,300) and manufacturing (~1,300).
  • Since July 2021, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 100,300, with the private sector growing by 100,700 and government shedding 400 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality (~30,900), professional and business services (~29,700), and trade, transportation, and utilities (~13,300). No industry experienced job loss during that same period. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 3.6 percent, which lags the U.S. rate of 4.2 percent.
  • Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 33.9 to 33.0 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $31.92 to $34.60, two dollars and twenty-three cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $32.37.


We are currently experiencing an issue with our website, Availability of revised estimates for June 2022 and preliminary estimates for July 2022 may be delayed. Please visit our Federal partner, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the most recent data available. Revised substate labor force estimates for June and preliminary estimates for July are available within the supplemental information attached to this release.

Current Employment Statistics (CES):
Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS):

The August 2022 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, September 16, 2022.The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2022 estimates is available at


Technical Notes

This release provides information on industry employment and labor force statistics for July 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.

Resources Mentioned
Supplemental Information
Labor Force Summary July 2022
City Report July 2022
County Report July 2022
July 2022 Press Release