Colorado Employment Situation – December 2020

 

Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Decline by 20,300 in December – Unemployment Rate Increases to 8.4%

 

Household survey data:

According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased in December to 8.4 percent. The national unemployment rate was unchanged from November at 6.7 percent.

Other highlights from the household survey:

The Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates in December were: Pueblo (11.3%), Huerfano (11.0%), Gilpin (10.6%), Costilla (10.1%), and Clear Creek (9.6%). County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are directly comparable to Colorado’s December unadjusted rate of 8.2 percent.

Colorado’s labor force grew by 42,400 in December to 3,212,600. The number of individuals employed in Colorado decreased by 24,400 in December to 2,943,400, which represents 63.3 percent of the state’s 16+ population. Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio is relatively flat since September.

Establishment survey data:

Nonfarm payroll jobs in Colorado declined by 20,300 from November to December for a total of 2,662,600 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs decreased by 20,600, while government added 300 jobs. With December job losses, Colorado has gained back 191,500 of the 342,300 nonfarm payroll jobs lost between February and April. That translates to a job recovery rate of 55.9 percent, which marginally exceeds the U.S. rate of 55.6 percent.

Other highlights from the establishment survey:

Private industry sectors with significant job gains in December were: trade, transportation, and utilities (~10,200), professional and business services (~5,100), education and health services (~1,100), and construction (~1,000). Significant over the month private sector job loss occurred in leisure and hospitality (~36,100).

Since December 2019, nonfarm payroll jobs have decreased 150,900, with losses totaling 120,100 in the private sector and 30,800 in government. The largest private sector job losses were in leisure and hospitality (~91,500), education and health services (~16,700), and other services (~8,000), and Colorado’s rate of job loss over the past year is -5.4 percent, compared to the U.S. rate of -6.2 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 33.8 to 33.3 hours, while average hourly earnings rose from $31.00 to $31.18, over a dollar and thirty cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $29.81.

Here are the unemployment percentages for several southeast Colorado counties:

Labor Dec 2020 Unemployed Nov 2020 Dec 2019 Unemployed
Baca 2,299 3.0 68 2.3 1.3

30

Bent

2,072 6.4 132 4.7 2.2 44
Cheyenne 1,218 3.3 40 2.6 1.3

17

Crowley

1,532 7.8 120 5.9 3.5 54
Kiowa 1,066 3.1 33 2.4 1.0

11

Kit Carson

4,585 3.1 143 2.7 1.4 66
Las Animas 6,638 9.1 603 7.5 3.3

223

Otero

8,712 8.5 738 6.1 3.3 287
Prowers 6,799 6.8 465 4.5 2.0

133

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