Colorado Job Situation for May 2020


Employers in Colorado added 68,800 nonfarm payroll jobs from April to May for a total of 2,539,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 80,800 and government declined by 12,000. April estimates were revised down to 2,471,100, and the over the month change from March to April was a decrease of 325,800 rather than the originally estimated decrease of 323,500.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased two percentage points from April to May to 10.2 percent. Additionally, the previously reported April 2020 unemployment rate of 11.3 percent was revised up to 12.2 percent.

The number of people actively participating in the labor force in May increased 8,400 over the month to 3,063,200 and the number of people reporting themselves as employed increased 69,600 to 2,750,700, causing the number of unemployed to decrease 61,200 and the unemployment rate to decline to 10.2 percent. The national unemployment rate decreased one and four-tenths of a percentage point in May to 13.3 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 33.2 to 33.7 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $30.22 to $31.39.

Significant over the month private sector job gains occurred in leisure and hospitality (~29,700), educational and health services (~23,000), other services (~6,700), manufacturing (~6,500), construction (5,900), professional and business services (~5,200), financial activities (~3,500), and trade, transportation, and utilities (~2,000). The largest over the month decline was in information.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs decreased 236,200, with a decline of 221,500 in the private sector and a decline of 14,700 in government. The largest private sector job losses were in leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation, and utilities, and educational and health services. There were no private sector over the year job gains.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is up seven and four-tenths of a percentage point from 2.8 percent. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force decreased 69,800, total employment decreased 293,900 and the number of unemployed increased 224,100. The national unemployment rate increased from 3.6 percent in May 2019 to 13.3 percent in May 2020.

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 during the first stages of the Governor’s Safer at Home order, which resulted in a return to work for some Coloradans. For more information on Colorado unemployment insurance claims activity and related statistics, please visit

Here are the unemployment percentages for counties in southeast Colorado:


Labor Force May 2020 Unemployed April 2020 May 2019 Unemployed
Baca 1,807 2.3 42 2.9 1.5



1,614 4.4 71 5.2 2.8 54
Cheyenne 1,000 2.1 21 2.4 1.4



1,255 4.9 61 6.8 4.4 67
Kiowa 826 2.2 18 2.6 1.6


Kit Carson

3,743 3.2 118 4.1 1.4 63
Las Animas 5,761 9.2 531 10.7 3.5



7,168 6.5 469 7.8 3.8 316
Prowers 5.576 5.0 278 5.1 2.3



Filed Under: City of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEmploymentFeaturedMedia Release


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