DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s unemployment levels were at pre-pandemic levels in January, according to household survey data. The state’s unemployment, jobs recovery and hourly earnings outpace the national rates.
Gov. Jared Polis and the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment released survey data Monday that says 2022 ended with a fully recovered employment picture, at least in terms of the number of Coloradans with jobs.
Colorado’s unemployment rate was 2.8% in January. Revised estimates say this is the same as December’s rate. This measurement is now matching the state’s unemployment rate of 2.8% in February 2020.
This is the ninth straight month wherein Colorado’s unemployment rate was below 3% and a better picture than the overall national trend. The U.S. unemployment rate was 3.4% in January 2023.
The state now has more nonfarm payroll positions than before the pandemic. While it lost 376,900 jobs in March and April 2020, it has gained 438,800. As with unemployment, Colorado’s jobs recovery has been better than that of the U.S. at large. Colorado now has 16.4% more nonfarm jobs than it did in early 2020, beating the national rate of 12.3% more jobs.
Workers are also earning more, with average hourly earnings of $36.14. Nationally, workers have hourly average earnings of $33.03.
The state’s labor force participation rate, however, is still below pre-pandemic levels. In January, that rate was 68.1%, slightly below the 68.7% in February 2020.