Press Release: Colorado Occupational Employment and Wages — 2021

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The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program is a Federal-State cooperative program that provides estimates of employment and wages for over 800 non-military detailed occupations in 22 major occupational groups. Every year, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, in partnership with the Bureau of Labor Statistics, collects and publishes occupation and wage data for the State of Colorado and for ten substate regions: seven Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) and three Balance of State (BOS) Areas.
For information regarding the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on OEWS data, see


Statewide Highlights
Workers in the State of Colorado had an average (mean) hourly wage of $30.24 in 2021, about 8 percent above the US average of $28.01, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment and the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. The statewide median hourly wage  for all covered employment was $23.05 compared to the US median of $22.00.

Statewide Occupational Employment and Wages
The occupational groups with the most workers were office and administrative support (313,280 workers), sales and related (292,670), and food preparation and serving related occupations (223,030). These three groups accounted for just under 32 percent of total covered employment. Management occupations had the highest average wage, while food preparation and serving related occupations had the lowest (see Table 1).

Table 1 Statewide Occupational Wages

Regional Occupational Employment
The most common occupations statewide were retail salespersons (78,650 workers), fast food and counter workers (68,890), and cashiers (53,550), and these were also the top three occupations in most of the substate areas (see Table 2).