Colorado Employment Situation – February 2023



6,200 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in February; Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly to 2.9 Percent


Household survey data:
According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose one-tenth of a percentage point in February to 2.9 percent compared to the January rate of 2.8 percent. The number of unemployed individuals increased by 2,200 over the same time period to 92,700. Colorado’s unemployment rate has remained below 3.0 percent for ten consecutive months and remains at pre-pandemic levels. The national unemployment rate grew two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.6 percent from January to February.

Colorado’s labor force increased by 10,700 in February to 3,217,000. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force rose to 68.3 percent in February, compared to 68.1 percent the month prior. The U.S. labor force participation rate was 62.5 percent in February, increasing one-tenth of a percentage point from the month prior.

The number of individuals employed in Colorado grew by 8,500 in February to 3,124,400, which represents 66.3 percent of the state’s 16+ population. The rate of 66.3 percent is one-tenth of a percentage point higher than a year ago. The national employment-to-population ratio was unchanged in February at 60.2 percent.

Establishment survey data:
Employers in Colorado added 6,200 nonfarm payroll jobs from January to February for a total of 2,887,700 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased by 4,400 and government added 1,800 jobs.

Private industry sectors with significant job gains in February were: leisure and hospitality (~1,500). There were no significant private sector over the month declines.

Since February 2022, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 46,700, with the private sector growing by 38,800 and government adding 7,900 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality (~19,200), professional and business services (~17,000), and educational and health services (~5,000). During that same period financial activities (~3,600), trade, transportation, and utilities (~2,100) and construction (~1,500), and information (~800) payroll jobs declined. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 1.6 percent, lagging the U.S. rate of 2.9 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 32.9 to 32.7 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $33.77 to $35.68, nearly two dollars and sixty cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $33.09.

Here are the unemployment percentages for several southeastern Colorado counties:


Labor Force

Feb 2023


Jan 2023

Feb 2022



2,009 2.1 41 1.9 2.3 46
Bent 1,759 3.6 63 3.3 4.6



853 2.6 22 2.3 2.5 22
Las Animas 6,001 4.8 290 4/8 5/7



7,821 4.3 334 4.1 5.2 408
Prowers 6,153 2.8 174 2.6 3.8



Filed Under: Consumer Issues

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