December 2022 unemployment rates, business events, labor market news

24th January, 2023 by VCBA

Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, logo

All Northwest counties continue to see a drop in unemployment rates

Establishment survey data:

According to the survey of business establishments, employers in Colorado added 8,600 nonfarm payroll jobs from November to December for a total of 2,911,500 jobs. Private sector payroll jobs increased by 8,000, and the government added 600 jobs.

Over the past 32 months, Colorado has added 466,400 nonfarm payroll jobs, compared to losses totaling 374,500 in March and April 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 124.5 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 105.6 percent.

Since May 2020, Colorado’s private sector has grown by 458,500 jobs, compared to a decline of 358,800 in early 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 127.8 percent and outpaces the U.S. rate of 108.0 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). Significantly 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 by 104,700, with the private sector growing by 94,800 and the 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) and payroll jobs declined. Colorado’s job growth rate 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.


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, representing 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.






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