Colorado Employment Situation – September 2020

 

13,400 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in September; Unemployment Rate Falls to 6.4%

 

Household survey data:

According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 6.4 percent in September from 6.7 percent in August. During the same period, the national unemployment rate declined half of a percentage point to 7.9 percent.

Other highlights from the household survey:

  • Colorado’s labor force grew by 59,600 in September to 3,147,400. The labor force participation rate rose by 1.2 percentage points to 67.9 percent, but is still below the February ratio of 69.4 percent.
  • The number of individuals employed in Colorado increased by 63,400 in September to 2,945,400, which represents 63.6 percent of the state’s 16+ population. While Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio continues to improve since April, when it was 58.3 percent, it still falls well below the February level of 67.7 percent.
  • The Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates in September were: Huerfano (8.3%), Summit (8.1%), Gilpin (7.9%), Pueblo (7.5%), and Denver (7.4%). County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are directly comparable to Colorado’s September unadjusted rate of 6.2 percent.

Establishment survey data

Employers in Colorado added 13,400 nonfarm payroll jobs from August to September for a total of 2,665,200 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased by 20,800 and government declined by 7,400. Since May, Colorado has gained back 194,100 of the 342,300 nonfarm payroll jobs lost between February and April. That translates to a job recovery rate of 56.7 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 51.5 percent.

Other highlights from the establishment survey:

  • August estimates were revised up to 2,651,800, and the over the month change from July to August was a gain of 39,100 rather than the originally estimated increase of 36,900 (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 (~8,000), trade, transportation, and utilities (~6,000), other services (~2,100), education and health services (~2,000), financial activities (~1,800), professional and business services (~1,500).
  • Since September 2019, nonfarm payroll jobs have decreased 134,300, with losses totaling 102,600 in the private sector and 31,700 in government. The largest private sector job losses were in leisure and hospitality (~56,500), trade, transportation, and utilities (~12,400), and construction (~8,800). Colorado’s rate of job loss over the past year is -4.8 percent, compared to the U.S. rate of -6.4 percent.
  • Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 34.1 to 32.8 hours, while average hourly earnings rose from $30.79 to $31.10, over a dollar and sixty cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $29.47.

Here are the unemployment percentages for counties in southeast Colorado:

 

Labor Force Sept 2020 Unemployed Aug 2020 Sept 2019 Unemployed
Baca 2,062 1.8 37 1.8 1.5

33

Bent

1,835 4.0 74 4.0 2.4 47
Cheyenne 1,103 2.4 27 2.4 1.3

16

Crowley

1,460 4.5 66 4.4 3.9 60
Kiowa 930 1.9 18 2.0 1.2

12

Kit Carson

3,906 2.4 94 2.5 1.5 69
Las Animas 6,474 6.6 429 7.0 3.2

213

Otero

8,226 5.4 442 5.5 3.3 283
Prowers 6,268 4.0 251 4.0 2.2

147

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