Employment performance declines slightly in Colorado last month

Several indicators show Colorado’s employment performance declined during October and government created more jobs than the private sector, according to information from the state’s Department of Labor and Employment.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point in October to 3.3%. The increased was parallel to the national unemployment rate as it increased one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.9% from September to October. It marked the fourth consecutive month Colorado’s unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point.

Colorado’s labor force also fell last month. The department reported the share of Coloradans participating in the labor force fell to 68.4%, down two-tenths of a point from the previous month. It translated into 5,600 fewer people working, bringing the state’s labor force to 3.2 million people.

The number and rate of employed people in the state fell by 8,000 last month to 3.1 million. It was a two-tenths of a percentage point decline to 66.2% of those age 16 and older. The national rate also fell by two-tenths of a percentage point in October to 60.2%.

The department’s survey of businesses found an increase of 1,500 non-farm payroll jobs last month for a total of 2.9 million positions. Governments added 1,700 jobs while the private sector lost 200 jobs.

Leisure and hospitality added approximately 1,500 jobs last month, the category with the highest growth in the private sector. The categories with the largest job losses during the last month were construction, losing 1,400 positions, and trade, transportation and utilities, down 900 jobs.

During the past 12 months, Colorado’s job growth was 1.1% while the U.S. rate was 1.9%. Approximately 33,100 non-farm payroll jobs were added since last October in the state, with 13,000 in the private sector and government creating 20,100 jobs. The leisure and hospitality category showed the highest growth in the private sector with approximately 17,000 jobs, followed by education and health services (8,000).

The financial activities category showed the largest loss with a decline of 7,500 positions. An analysis by the Common Sense Institute found Colorado's construction sector lost 1,400 jobs in October and hasn't added more than 100 jobs in a one-month period since April. The state's construction industry remains 1,700 jobs below its total in January 2020. The mining and logging sector lost 100 jobs, the fifth consecutive month without job growth in the category.

The average workweek for Colorado workers increased slightly from 34 to 34.1 hours during the last 12 months, but average hourly earnings increased from $35.08 to $36.31. The state’s average hourly earnings are $2.31 higher than the national average of $34.


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