Colorado jobs gain 5,600 in August, even as unemployment rises

Colorado employers increased hiring in August, but it wasn’t enough to keep the state’s unemployment rate from rising above 3% for the first time in 15 months.

Colorado’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 2.9% in July to 3.1% in August, and the number of unemployed people rose by 4,700 last month. The US unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 3.8% over the same period.

Last month, the state added a net 5,600 new nonfarm jobs, the private sector added 9,100 jobs and public employers shed a seasonally adjusted 3,500 jobs.

July’s job gain, which initially came in at an anemic 800, was revised sharply higher to 3,400.

“A resilient labor market could mean Colorado avoids a recession or a significant downturn. This is great news as we head into the fourth quarter in a couple of weeks,” Broomfield economist Gary Horvath said in an email.

Senior state labor economist Ryan Gedney said in a news release Friday morning that he doesn’t think the government’s job losses reflect a reversal in hiring, which has been strong this year.

Most likely, the losses are seasonal and appeared to be timed for schools to hire in August.

The base week last month when the counts were compiled was Aug. 6-12 — a little earlier than is usually seen and before many schools began to return.

It’s possible that the government’s August hiring estimate will be revised next month, or that hiring that missed the reporting deadline will be reflected in the September report, he said.

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