Press Release: Colorado Employment Situation – July 2023

Hide Featured Image

800 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in July;
Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly to 2.9 Percent

Household survey data

  • According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point in July to 2.9 percent compared to the June rate of 2.8 percent. The number of unemployed individuals grew by 3,300 over the same time period to 95,000. Colorado’s unemployment rate has been below 3.0 percent for fifteen consecutive months and remains at prepandemic levels. The national unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.5 percent from June to July.

  • Colorado’s labor force increased by 3,400 in July to 3,252,500. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force remained at 68.7 percent in July, identical to the two months prior. The U.S. labor force participation rate was 62.6 percent in July and has remained at that level for five straight months.

  • Due to rounding, the number of individuals employed in Colorado was unchanged in July at 3,157,500, which represents 66.7 percent of the state’s 16+ population. Colorado’s employment-population ratio of 66.7 in July was one-tenth of percentage point lower compared to the June rate of 66.8 percent. The national employmentpopulation ratio grew one-tenth of a percentage point in July to 60.4 percent.

Establishment survey data

  • Employers in Colorado added 800 nonfarm payroll jobs from June to July for a total of 2,907,800 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs decreased by 1,900, while government added 2,700 jobs.

  • June estimates were revised down to 2,907,000, and the over the month change from May to June was a gain of 1,800 rather than the originally estimated increase of 4,700 (monthly revisions are based on additional responses from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates).

  • The private industry sector with significant job gains in July was professional and business services (≈2,600). Significant over the month private sector declines occurred in leisure and hospitality (≈3,500) and educational and health services (≈1,100).

  • Since July 2022, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 38,800, with the private sector growing by 18,200 and government adding 20,600 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality (≈18,000), professional and business services (≈8,900), educational and health services (≈2,800), and other services (≈2,800). During that same period financial activities (≈7,100), trade, transportation, and utilities (≈5,400), construction (≈3,000), and information (≈2,000) payroll jobs declined. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 1.4 percent, lagging the U.S. rate of 2.2 percent.

  • Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.1 to 33.5 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $34.60 to $35.91, two dollars and seventeen cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $33.74.


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 August 2023 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, September 15, 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 July 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 July 2023
City Report July 2023
County Report July 2023
July 2023 Press Release