Colorado Employment Situation / December 2015



Employers in Colorado added 10,700 nonfarm payroll jobs from November to December for a total of 2,539,400 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs increased 10,000 and government increased 700.

According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased one-tenth of a percentage point in December to 3.5 percent. The number of people actively participating in the labor force increased 7,600 to 2,819,100 and total employment increased 10,200 to 2,719,800 causing the number of unemployed to decrease 2,600 and the unemployment rate to decline to 3.5 percent. The national unemployment rate remained unchanged from November to December at 5.0 percent.

Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased from 34.1 to 33.4 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $26.44 to $27.15.

The largest over the month private sector job gains were in construction, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing. The only over the month decline was in mining and logging.

Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 46,600 with an increase of 41,300 in the private sector and an increase of 5,300 in government. The largest private sector job gains were in leisure and hospitality, construction, and education and health services. The largest private sector job declines were in professional and business services, information, and mining and logging.

Over the year, the unemployment rate is down seven-tenths of a percentage point from 4.2 percent and is at the lowest level since April 2007. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force decreased 5,100, total employment increased 15,200, and the number of unemployed decreased 20,300. The national unemployment rate declined from 5.6 percent in December 2014 to 5.0 percent in December 2015.

The following are the unemployment percentages for southeast Colorado Counties:

Dec 2015 % Unemp Nov 2015 % Dec 2014 % Unemp
Baca 1.6 31 1.8 2.2 44
Bent 3.4 59 3.2 4.3 71
Cheyenne 2.1 21 2.4 2.0 20
Crowley 4.5 58 4.3 4.9 63
Kiowa 1.7 14 1.9 2.7 21
Kit Carson 2.2 95 2.4 2.5 108
Otero 5.2 412 4.9 6.7 531
Prowers 3.5 206 3.7 3.9 219

Baca and Kiowa Counties had the lowest posted unemployment percentages in the state. The unemployment rate for Colorado as of this report was 93,166 for 3.3% of the employable population.  Last year at this time, the unemployment rate was 115,864 for a difference of 22,698 new job holders.

Filed Under: AgricultureBusinessCountyEconomyEmploymentGranadaHollyHot TopicsLamarMedia ReleaseProwers CountyWiley


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