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Colorado unemployment falls to 3.3% in July 2022, lower than national rate

US unemployment rate returns to pre-pandemic levels
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Posted at 12:16 PM, Aug 19, 2022

DENVER – Colorado’s unemployment rate fell to 3.3% in July, down another one-tenth of a percentage point from June, as the state’s labor force continues to increase, officials with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) said Friday.

In line with Colorado, the national unemployment rate also fell by one-tenth of a percentage point to 3.5%, returning to pre-pandemic levels in July.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Colorado is now the lowest it’s been since before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, when it was 2.8% in February 2020.

Colorado’s labor force grew by 1,700 in July, to about 3,250,500 million people, but the proportion of the population that is working or looking actively looking for work remained flat from a month ago, at 69.5% – the highest rate since March 2020.

The number of people employed in Colorado also increased by 5,700 in July, to 3,142,800 million people – which represents 67.2% of the state’s 16+ population, according to the latest employment data.

The state’s employment-to-population ratio, which measures how efficiently the state economy is able to provide jobs for people who want them, grew by only one-tenth of a percentage from June, to 67.2%. The figure might seem insignificant, but the CDLE noted this particular ratio has risen for seven consecutive months, being at its highest level since January 2009, which was 67.3%

Colorado also added 2,220 total nonfarm jobs in July, gaining 417,800 total nonfarm payroll jobs since April 2020, which represents a recovery rate of nearly 112%. The private sector recovery rate was over 116% as of July.

The CDLE employment data showed mixed industry growth, with a fairly even distribution of gains and losses over the month of July. The manufacturing and trade, transportation and utilities sector lost a net 3,600 jobs, but there were some gains in the professional and business services and government industries, which saw a net gain of 5,300 jobs in July.

The Colorado counties with the highest unemployment rates last month were Huerfano (6.0%), Pueblo (5.2%), Las Animas (4.9%), Fremont (4.7%), and Rio Grande (4.6%), according to the CDLE.