Press Release: Colorado Employment Situation – August 2023

In August, 5,600 nonfarm payroll jobs were added;
The unemployment rate rose to 3.1 percent

Household survey data

  • According to the Household Survey, the state of Colorado is seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased by two-tenths of a percentage point in August to 3.1 percent, compared to 2.9 percent in July. The number of unemployed grew by 4,700 over the same period to 99,800. The unemployment rate in the country from July to August increased by three-tenths of a percentage point to 3.8 percent.

  • Colorado workforce increased by 2,500 in August to 3,255,000. In August, the labor force participation rate of Coloradans remained at 68.7 percent, the same as three months earlier. The employment rate in the US was 62.8 percent in August, an increase of two-tenths of a percentage point compared to the previous month.

  • The number of employed persons Colorado dropped 2,200 to 3,155,200 in August, representing 66.6 percent of the state’s 16-year-old population. Colorado’s employment-to-population ratio of 66.6 in August was one-tenth of a percentage point lower than in July (66.7 percent). The national employment-to-population ratio remained unchanged at 60.4 percent in August.

Enterprise survey data

  • Employers in Colorado added 5,600 jobs non-agricultural jobs from July to August, a total of 2,916,000 jobs, according to the survey of enterprises. The number of private sector jobs increased by 9,100, while public sector jobs were cut by 3,500.

  • Estimates of July were revised up to 2,910,400, and the change for the month from June to July was a gain of 3,400, rather than the 800 initially estimated (monthly revisions are based on additional responses from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates).

  • Private industry sectors with significant job growth in August there were: recreation and hospitality services (≈4,700), educational and medical services (≈2,800), professional and business services (≈1,600). There were no significant falls during the month.

  • From August 2022Nonfarm payrolls increased by 42,700, including 26,000 in the private sector, and 16,700 government jobs. The biggest increasing private sector jobs were in leisure and hospitality (≈24,000), professional and business services (≈7,200), and education and health services (≈6,400). During the same period, financial activities (≈7,300), trade, transport and utilities (≈5,500), construction (≈2,500) and information (≈1,500) payroll jobs declined. Colorado job growth rate for the past year is 1.5 percent, lagging behind the US rate of 2.0 percent.

  • During the year average work week for all Colorado private nonfarm payroll employees was unchanged at 33.3 hours, while average hourly earnings rose from $34.11 to $35.90, two dollars and eight cents more than the national average hourly wage of $33.82.


All Colorado business and household survey estimates, including more detailed geographic information, are available at: Estimates for all states and the nation are available at:

To visualize the data, visit

The Colorado employment situation in September 2023 will be released at 8:00 a.m. on Friday, October 20, 2023. A complete schedule of release dates for the calendar year 2023 assessments is available at


Technical notes

This release provides industry employment and labor force statistics for August 2023, the latest estimates available from the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. The base period for the establishment and household surveys was the pay period or the week that includes 12thousand month.

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

Estimates of nonfarm payrolls are based on surveys of businesses and government agencies and are designed to measure the number of jobs, not the number of people employed. Other series based on this survey include average hours in the private sector, average hourly earnings, and average weekly earnings.

The Business Survey covers approximately seven times the number of surveyed households and is therefore considered a more reliable indicator of economic health. Because the estimates are based on two separate surveys, one measuring the number of jobs and the other measuring employment and unemployment across households, estimates based on these surveys may yield conflicting results.

Resources mentioned

Additional information
August 2023 Workforce Summary
City Report for August 2023
District Report, August 2023
Press release for August 2023

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