Press Release: Expected Revisions to Colorado Nonfarm Payroll Jobs

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May 25, 2022


Fourth quarter 2021 Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) results indicate Colorado total nonfarm payroll jobs estimates will be revised up for this period with the release of benchmarked estimates in March 2023. December 2021 estimates are expected to be revised up by about 4,600 nonfarm payroll jobs, or two-tenths of a percentage point. October and November 2021 estimates are expected to be revised up by about 12,000 and 4,000 nonfarm payroll jobs, respectively.

Applying these results through April 2022 brings estimated total nonfarm payroll jobs in April to 2,853,200. This change brings over the year payroll job growth estimates through April 2022 to 133,600 or 4.9 percent.

The final March 2023 benchmarked series are expected to vary from these estimates due to new seasonal adjustment factors and new estimates of nonfarm payroll jobs not covered by the unemployment insurance program.

Industry sectors expected to undergo an upward revision to payroll jobs estimates in the 4th quarter1 include trade, transportation, and utilities (~3,500), government (~2,800), construction (~1,400), professional and business services (~1,300), and financial activities (~1,200). Payroll jobs estimates for education and health services, information, and mining and logging may be revised up.

The industry sector expected to undergo a downward revision to payroll jobs estimates is leisure and hospitality (~5,800). Payroll jobs estimates for other services and manufacturing may also be revised down.

Payroll jobs estimates for the Denver (~15,300), Colorado Springs (~6,400), Grand Junction (~2,100), Boulder (~2,000), Pueblo (~1,800), Greeley (~1,400), and Fort Collins (~1,300) Metropolitan Statistical Areas are expected to be revised down in the 4th quarter¹.

¹Values shown are December estimates.


Expected Revisions to Colorado Nonfarm Payroll Jobs based on 1st quarter 2022 QCEW data will be released Wednesday, August 24, 2022.


Every month of the year other than February the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, in cooperation with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, releases estimates of Colorado nonfarm payroll jobs for the previous month based on results from a survey of business establishments. Estimates for Colorado are produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for total nonfarm payroll jobs and specific industry sectors or groups of sectors across the entire state, and for the seven metropolitan statistical areas.

In February of each year these survey based estimates are compared to and adjusted in a process called “benchmarking” based on administrative records available since the release of the survey estimates. The results of that comparison are released in March.

For instance, at the beginning of the 2023 calendar year Colorado nonfarm payroll jobs estimates for the 4th quarter of 2021 and all of 2022 will be benchmarked based on information available from the QCEW program for the 4th quarter of 2021 and the first three quarters of 2022. These updated estimates will be released in March 2023.

The source of these administrative records for the QCEW program are unemployment insurance reports Colorado employers are required to file quarterly with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Among other information, employers include the number of people employed at the firm for each month of the quarter for which the report is being filed. Although only firms with employees covered by the Colorado Unemployment Insurance program are required by state and federal law to submit these reports, this quarterly census of employment covers about 98 percent of all nonfarm payroll jobs and about 88 percent of total employment in Colorado.

Aggregated by industry, the QCEW data are more closely aligned with the definition of nonfarm payroll jobs than with total employment. This is because an individual holding more than one job is counted only once in the total employment estimate but multiple times in both QCEW and the nonfarm payroll jobs estimates. Total employment estimates are by place of residence while both QCEW and payroll jobs are by place of business.

Though the official nonfarm payroll jobs estimates are benchmarked only once a year, data from QCEW are available quarterly and, once available, can be compared to the official series to see by about how much the official statistics will be adjusted.



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Expected Revisions to Colorado Nonfarm Payroll Jobs
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