Press Release: Colorado Employment Situation – September 2022

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5,600 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in September;
Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 3.4%


Household survey data

  • According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was flat in September at 3.4 percent. While the number of unemployed individuals fell by 2,200, the unemployment rate was unchanged due to rounding. The national unemployment rate edged downward by two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.5 percent, which translates to approximately 5.8 million unemployed.
  • Colorado’s labor force declined by 2,800 in September to 3,255,100. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force lowered by two-tenths of a percentage point to 69.4 percent last month. The U.S. labor force participation rate was 62.3 percent in September, dropping one-tenth of a percentage point from the month prior.
  • The number of individuals employed in Colorado decreased slightly by 600 in September to 3,145,400, which represents 67.1 percent of the state’s 16+ population. That rate of 67.1 percent is over two percentage points higher than a year ago and six-tenths of a percentage point higher than it was in February 2020. The national employment-to-population ratio was flat at 60.1 percent in September and remains below its February 2020 level of 61.2 percent.

Establishment survey data

Employers in Colorado added 5,600 nonfarm payroll jobs from August to September for a total of 2,882,800 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 7,600 and government shed 2,000 jobs. Over the past 29 months, Colorado has added 437,700 nonfarm payroll jobs, compared to losses totaling 374,500 in March and April 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 116.9 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 102.3 percent.

Since May 2020, Colorado’s private sector has grown by 435,400 jobs, compared to declines of 358,800 in early 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 121.3 percent and outpaces the U.S. rate of 105.3 percent.

Other highlights from the establishment survey:

  • August estimates were revised up to 2,877,200, and the over the month change from July to August was a gain of 14,600 rather than the originally estimated increase of 12,400 (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 September were: leisure and hospitality (~3,500), other services (~2,300), and educational and health services (~2,000). There were no industries with significant over the month declines.
  • Since September 2021, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 113,000, with the private sector growing by 106,700 and government adding 6,300 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality (~30,100), professional and business services (~29,800), and trade, transportation, and utilities (~13,800). During that same period financial activities (~2,600) payroll jobs declined. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 4.1 percent, slightly outpacing the U.S. rate of 3.9 percent.
  • Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.5 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $32.46 to $34.43, nearly two dollars more than the national average hourly earnings of $32.46.




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 October 2022 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, November 18, 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 September 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 September 2022
City Report September 2022
County Report September 2022
September 2022 Press Release