Skip to content
4,300 Nonfarm Payroll Jobs Added in November; Unemployment Rate Declines to 3.5%    
Household survey data
According to the survey of households, Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in November to 3.5 percent. The number of unemployed individuals dropped by 2,700 over the same time period to 113,600. Colorado’s unemployment rate has ranged between 3.3 and 3.6 percent since April. The national unemployment rate was unchanged in November at 3.7 percent, which translates to approximately 6.0 million unemployed.

Colorado’s labor force decreased by 4,700 in November to 3,252,100. The share of Coloradans participating in the labor force fell slightly to 69.2 percent in November, compared to 69.4 percent the month prior. The U.S. labor force participation rate was 62.1 percent in November, dropping one-tenth of a percentage point from the month prior.

The number of individuals employed in Colorado declined by 2,000 in November to 3,138,400, which represents 66.8 percent of the state’s 16+ population. The rate of 66.8 percent is one and a half percentage points higher than a year ago and three-tenths of a percentage point higher than it was in February 2020. The national employment-to-population ratio was 59.9 percent in November and remains below its February 2020 level of 61.2 percent.  


Establishment survey data

Employers in Colorado added 4,300 nonfarm payroll jobs from October to November for a total of 2,901,900 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 2,000 and government added 2,300 jobs. Over the past 31 months, Colorado has added 456,800 nonfarm payroll jobs, compared to losses totaling 374,500 in March and April 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 122.0 percent, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 104.7 percent. Since May 2020, Colorado’s private sector has grown by 448,500 jobs, compared to declines of 358,800 in early 2020. That translates to a job recovery rate of 125.0 percent and outpaces the U.S. rate of 107.2 percent.

Other highlights from the establishment survey:

October estimates were revised down to 2,897,600, and the over the month change from September to October was a gain of 14,500 rather than the originally estimated increase of 17,700 (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 November were: educational and health services (~2,800), professional and business services (~2,200), and financial activities (~2,000). Significant over the month private sector job loss occurred in construction (~3,400) and leisure and hospitality (~2,600).

Since November 2021, nonfarm payroll jobs have increased 103,400, with the private sector growing by 90,900 and government adding 12,500 jobs. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services (~31,200), educational and health services (~16,000), and leisure and hospitality (~12,200). During that same period financial activities (~700) payroll jobs declined. Colorado’s rate of job growth over the past year is 3.7 percent, outpacing the U.S. rate of 3.3 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all Colorado employees on private nonfarm payrolls was flat at 33.2 hours, while average hourly earnings grew from $33.07 to $35.88, over three dollars more than the national average hourly earnings of $32.82.  


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 December 2022 Colorado Employment Situation will be released at 8:00 AM on Friday, January 20, 2023.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 November 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.