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State unemployment rate continues decline, now at 3.5%

DENVER — Colorado’s unemployment rate continued its decline, dropping a tenth of a percentage point from 3.6% in October to 3.5% in November.

Similar declines were seen in the four counties of Northern Colorado and the Boulder Valley, according to statistics released by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment today.

Unemployment continued to be lowest in Boulder County, recorded at 2.6% in November, down from 2.8% in October. Larimer and Broomfield counties were both at 2.8%, and Weld was at 3.5%, down from 3.7% in October.

The numbers come from the state’s household survey.

The national unemployment rate was unchanged in November at 3.7%, which translates to approximately 6 million unemployed, according to CDLE.

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% in November, compared with 69.4% the month prior. The U.S. labor force participation rate was 62.1% in November, dropping one-tenth of a percentage point from the month prior.

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, the CDLE monthly report said. 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%, which exceeds the U.S. rate of 104.7%. 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% and outpaces the U.S. rate of 107.2%,” CDLE wrote in its report.

Sectors showing significant job gains included the educational and health services sector, which added about 2,800 jobs statewide and professional and business services with about 2,200 new jobs. Sectors losing jobs included construction, which lost 3,400 jobs, and leisure and hospitality, which lost 2,600 positions.

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, more than $3 more than the national average hourly earnings of $32.82, the CDLE reported.

Source: BizWest