Colorado Employment Situation – April 2021



Household survey data

According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was flat in April at 6.4 percent. During the same period, the national unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.1 percent.

Other highlights from the household survey:

Colorado’s labor force grew by 8,900 in April to 3,197,300. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force was 68.7 percent in April, which matches the pre- pandemic February 2020 labor force participation rate.

The number of individuals employed in Colorado increased by 9,600 in April to 2,992,700, which represents 64.3 percent of the state’s 16+ population. While Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio continues to improve since April 2020, when it was 57.0 percent, it is still well below the pre-pandemic level of 66.8 percent.

The Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates in April were: San Miguel (10.0%), Huerfano (8.6%), Pueblo (8.6%), Gilpin (7.6%), Costilla (7.2%), and Fremont (7.2%). County-level unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted and are directly comparable to Colorado’s April unadjusted rate of 6.3 percent.

Establishment survey data:

Employers in Colorado added 17,000 nonfarm payroll jobs from March to April for a total of 2,690,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 15,200 and government added 1,800 jobs. Over the past 12 months, Colorado has gained back 247,700 of the 375,800 nonfarm payroll jobs lost between February and April of last year. That translates to a job recovery rate of 65.9 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 63.3 percent.

Other highlights from the establishment survey:

March estimates were revised up to 2,673,900, and the over the month change from February to March was a gain of 7,700 rather than the originally estimated increase of 6,600 (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 April were: leisure and hospitality (~9,900), education and health services (~2,900), and other services (~1,800). There were no significant private sector over the month declines.

Since April 2020, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 247,700, with private sector adding 257,200 jobs and government shedding 9,500. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality (~111,500), trade, transportation, and utilities (~54,300), and education and health services (~37,200). During that same period, mining and logging (~3,700) and information (~1,800) payroll jobs declined. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 10.1 percent, compared to the U.S. rate of 10.9 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 32.7 to 33.7 hours, while average hourly earnings decreased from $32.05 to $31.08, approximately ninety cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $30.17.

These are the unemployment percentages for counties in southeast Colorado:

  Labor April 2021 % Unemployed March 2021%

April 2020 %

Baca 2,232 2.6 58 3.5 2.4



1,951 5.8 113 6.8 4.7 82
Cheyenne 1,126 2.5 28 4.2 2.3



1,673 5.8 97 5.9 5.6 82
Kiowa 1,031 3.5 36 3.5 2.4


Kit Carson

4,494 3.0 135 3.5 3.6 146
Las Animas 6,927 7.1 494 8.8 9.7



8,920 6.3 565 7.2 6.9 548
Prowers 6,626 4.7 312 5.6 4.5


Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceCity of GranadaCity of HollyCity of LamarCity of WileyConsumer IssuesCountyEconomyEmploymentFeaturedHot Topics


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