Colorado Employment Situation in February 2020





Important note: This release provides information on industry employment and labor force statistics for February 2020, 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. Therefore, this release provides an estimate of Colorado’s employment situation prior to the outbreak of COVID-19 within the state.

Employers in Colorado added 3,100 nonfarm payroll jobs from January to February for a total of 2,816,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 1,000 and government increased 2,100. January estimates were revised down to 2,813,800, and the over the month change from December to January was an increase of 300 rather than the originally estimated increase of 1,300.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate was unchanged from January to February at 2.5 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 5,600 over the month to 3,186,400 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 4,700 to 3,106,100. The larger increase in the labor force than in total employment caused the number of unemployed to increase 900. However due to rounding, the unemployment rate was unchanged from January at 2.5 percent. The national unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in February to 3.5 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.1 to 33.7 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $29.95 to $30.95.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in other services, financial activities, and professional and business services. The largest over the month decline was in construction.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 50,100, with an increase of 38,200 in the private sector and an increase of 11,900 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, education and health services, and trade, transportation, and utilities. Mining and logging declined over the year.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down six-tenths of a percentage point from 3.1 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force increased 65,700, total employment increased 81,700 and the number of unemployed decreased 16,000. The national unemployment rate declined from 3.8 percent in February 2019 to 3.5 percent in February 2020.

Here are the unemployment percentages for counties in southeast Colorado:


Labor Force Feb 2020 Unemployed Jan 2020 Feb 2019 Unemployed
Baca 2,073 2.2 46 2.0 2.1



1,821 2.8 51 2.9 3.9 69
Cheyenne 1,162 1.6 19 1.6 1.9



1,506 4.6 69 4.8 5.1 77
Kiowa 927 1.4 13 1.4 1.9


Kit Carson

4,210 2.0 84 1.9 2.0 81
Las Animas 6,534 4.2 272 3.8 4.9



8,370 4.5 375 4.1 5.5 452
Prowers 6,280 2.6 166 2.6 3.3


Filed Under: Consumer IssuesCountyEconomyEmploymentFeaturedMedia Release


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