Colorado Employment Situation – December 2022


8,600 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in December

Unemployment Rate Declines to 3.3%


Household survey data

  • According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased two-tenths of a percentage point in December to 3.3 percent. The number of unemployed individuals dropped by 6,700 over the same time period to 106,700. Colorado’s unemployment rate has ranged between 3.3 and 3.6 percent since April. The national unemployment rate declined by one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.5 percent, which translates to approximately 5.7 million unemployed.
  • Colorado’s labor force decreased by 7,200 in December to 3,244,700. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force fell slightly to 69.0 percent in December, compared to 69.2 percent the month prior. The U.S. labor force participation rate was 62.3 percent in December, rising one-tenth of a percentage point from the month prior.
  • The number of individuals employed in Colorado declined by 500 in December to 3,138,000, which represents 66.7 percent of the state’s 16+ population. The rate of 66.7 percent is nearly one and a half percentage points higher than a year ago and two-tenths of a percentage point higher than it was in February 2020. The national employment-to-population ratio was 60.1 percent in December and remains below its February 2020 level of 61.2 percent.

Other highlights from the establishment survey:

  • November estimates were revised up to 2,902,900, and the over the month change from October to November was a gain of 5,300 rather than the originally estimated increase of 4,300 (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 December were: professional and business services (~5,000), leisure and hospitality (~4,400), other services (~1,700), and manufacturing (~1,200). Significant over the month private sector job loss occurred in educational and health services (~2,600) and financial activities (~1,100).
  • Since December 2021, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 104,700, with the private sector growing by 94,800 and government adding 9,900 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services (~31,900), leisure and hospitality (~20,300), and educational and health services (~13,300). During that same period financial activities (~3,400) payroll jobs declined. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 3.7 percent, outpacing the U.S. rate of 3.0 percent.
  • Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 33.1 to 32.9 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $33.36 to $35.52, two dollars and seventy cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $32.82.

Here are the unemployment percentages for counties in southeast Colorado:  Unemployment percentages for Prowers County through 2022 had the highest at 3.5% for January and February and the lowest at 2.6% for September.


Labor Force

Dec 2022 Unemployed Nov 2022 Dec 2021 Unemployed
Baca 2,121 1.5 31 1.7 1.4



1,972 3.1 62 3.9 4.2 84
Kiowa 923 1.6 15 2.3 1.9


Las Animas

6,247 4.6 289 5.2 4.8 319
Otero 7,918 3.8 302 4.7 4.4



6,318 2.3 144 2.9 3.0


Filed Under: Chamber of CommerceConsumer IssuesCountyFeaturedMedia Release


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