Colorado Employment Situation – October 2023


1,500 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in October; Unemployment Rate Rises to 3.3 Percent

Household survey data:
According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point in October to 3.3 percent compared to the September rate of 3.2 percent. The number of unemployed individuals grew by 2,400 over the same time period to 105,900. The national unemployment rate also increased one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.9 percent from September to October.

Colorado’s labor force decreased by 5,600 in October to 3,247,000. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force fell to 68.4 percent in October, compared to 68.6 percent the month prior. The U.S. labor force participation rate was 62.7 percent in October, dropping one-tenth of a percentage point from the month prior.

The number of individuals employed in Colorado declined by 8,000 in October to 3,141,100, which represents 66.2 percent of the state’s 16+ population. Colorado’s employment-population ratio of 66.2 in October was two-tenths of a percentage point lower compared to the September rate of 66.4 percent. The national employment-population ratio also fell by two-tenths of a percentage point to 60.2 percent in October, compared to the September rate of 60.4 percent.

Establishment survey data:
Employers in Colorado added 1,500 nonfarm payroll jobs from September to October for a total of 2,917,700 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs decreased by 200, while government added 1,700 jobs.

September estimates were revised down to 2,916,200, and the over the month change from August to September was a loss of 100 rather than the originally estimated increase of 1,500 (monthly revisions are based on additional responses from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates).

The Private industry sector with significant job gains in October was: leisure and hospitality (≈1,500). Significant over the month private sector job loss occurred in construction (≈1,400) and trade, transportation, and utilities (≈900).

Since October 2022, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 33,100, with the private sector growing by 13,000 and government adding 20,100 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality (≈17,000), educational and health services (≈8,000), and professional and business services (≈6,900). During that same period financial activities (≈7,500), construction (≈7,200), trade, transportation, and utilities (≈6,900), and information (≈300) payroll jobs declined. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 1.1 percent, lagging the U.S. rate of 1.9 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose from 34.0 to 34.1 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $35.08 to $36.31. Colorado average hourly earnings are two dollars and thirty-one cents higher than national average hourly earnings of $34.00.

Here are the unemployment percentages for several southeastern Colorado counties:



Labor Force

Oct 2023 Unemployed Sept 2023 Oct 2022



2,149 2.1 46 2.1 1.4 31
Bent 1,942 2.6 5.1 2.4 2.7



951 2.1 20 2.0 1.5 14
Las Animas 5,933 4.8 286 5.0 4.3



8,014 3.7 295 3.9 3.9 312
Prowers 6,555 2.8 182 2.8 2.2


Filed Under: AgricultureChamber of CommerceCountyEconomyEmploymentFeatured


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