Skip to content
Colorado Employment Situation – August 2022   12,400 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in August;
Unemployment Rate Increases to 3.4%    
Household survey data
According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased one-tenth of a percentage point in August to 3.4 percent. The number of unemployed individuals rose by 4,600 over the same time period to 112,000. The national unemployment rate edged upward by two-tenths of a percentage point to 3.7 percent, which translates to approximately 6.0 million unemployed.

Colorado’s labor force grew by 7,700 in August to 3,258,000. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force improved to 69.6 percent last month, matching the rate it was in March 2020. The U.S. labor force participation rate was 62.4 percent in August, moving up three-tenths of a percentage point from the month prior.

The number of individuals employed in Colorado increased by 3,200 in August to 3,146,000, which represents 67.2 percent of the state’s 16+ population, unchanged from the month prior. Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio is at its highest level since January 2009, which was 67.3 percent. The national employment-to-population ratio was 60.1 percent in August and remains below its February 2020 level of 61.2 percent.    

Establishment survey data

Employers in Colorado added 12,400 nonfarm payroll jobs from July to August for a total of 2,875,000 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 14,500 and government shed 2,100 jobs. Over the past 28 months, Colorado has added 429,900 nonfarm payroll jobs, compared to losses totaling 374,500 in March and April 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 114.8 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 101.1 percent.

Since May 2020, Colorado’s private sector has grown by 431,300 jobs, compared to declines of 358,800 in early 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 120.2 percent and outpaces the U.S. rate of 104.2 percent.

Other highlights from the establishment survey:
July estimates were revised down to 2,862,600, and the over the month change from June to July was a gain of 1,900 rather than the originally estimated increase of 2,200 (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 August were: educational and health services (~3,600), leisure and hospitality (~3,200), professional and business services (~2,900), trade, transportation, and utilities (~2,100), manufacturing (~1,900), and construction (~1,300). There were no industries with significant over the month declines.

Since August 2021, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 108,300, with the private sector growing by 106,900 and government adding 1,400 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality (~31,500), professional and business services (~30,500), and trade, transportation, and utilities (~14,400). During that same period financial activities (~1,500) payroll jobs declined. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 3.9 percent, just below the U.S. rate of 4.0 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 34.4 to 33.2 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $32.12 to $34.17, one dollar and eighty-one cents more than the national average hourly earnings of $32.36.  


All Colorado estimates from the establishment and household surveys, including greater geographic detail, are available at: Estimates for all states and the nation are available at: For data visualizations, visit The September 2022 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, October 21, 2022.The full schedule of release dates for calendar year 2022 estimates is available at  

Technical Notes This release provides information on industry employment and labor force statistics for August 2022, the most current estimates available from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The reference period for the establishment and household surveys was the pay period or week that includes the 12th of the month.

The unemployment rate, labor force, labor force participation, total employment and the number of unemployed are based on a survey of households. The total employment estimate derived from this survey is intended to measure the number of people employed.

Nonfarm payroll jobs estimates are based on a survey of business establishments and government agencies, and are intended to measure the number of jobs, not the number of people employed. Other series based on this survey include private sector average weekly hours, average hourly earnings and average weekly earnings.

The business establishment survey covers about seven times the number of households surveyed and is therefore considered a more reliable indicator of economic conditions. Because the estimates are based on two separate surveys, one measuring jobs by worksite and the other measuring persons employed and unemployed by household, estimates based on these surveys may provide seemingly conflicting results.

Resources Mentioned
Supplemental Information
Labor Force Summary August 2022
City Report August 2022
County Report August 2022
August 2022 Press Release

Office of Government, Policy and Public Relations