Colorado’s robust economy has added 412,300 jobs since April 2020, eclipsing the 374,500 jobs the state lost in March and April 2020. This represents a recovery rate of 110.1 percent which is 12.2 percentage points higher than the nationwide recovery rate of 97.9%. Colorado added 4,500 jobs in June and May’s employment level was revised downwards by 2,500. June nonfarm employment rose to 2,857,400, which is 4.1% higher than June 2021’s 2,745,700. Colorado’s unemployment rate now stands at 3.4%.

Key FindingsColorado June 2022 Employment Data (BLS CES Survey[i])

  • Colorado added 4,500 total nonfarm jobs in June (a monthly change of 0.16% for a total year-on-year change of 4.6%).
    • In June, the state’s employment level continued to recover and is now 37,900 higher than it was before the pandemic.
    • To recover to the pre-pandemic employment-to-population ratio by January 2023, Colorado needs to add 7,234 jobs each month, on average.
    • According to the BLS’s household survey, which captures both traditional jobs and self-employment, Colorado has recovered to a 67.1 employment-to-population ratio, which is above the pre-pandemic level of 66.7.
  • The total employment level is up 1.3% (37,900 jobs) above its pre-pandemic level, ranking Colorado 10th in terms of June ‘22 job levels relative to Jan. ’20.
    • Alaska ranked 50th and Hawaii 51st in terms of current job levels relative to Jan. ’20 and are down 5.7% and 8.9%, respectively.
    • Fifteen states have employment levels above what they were at the start of the pandemic. Texas has the highest differential (+474,900 jobs).

A Deeper Dive into Colorado Industries

  • Some sectors in Colorado added jobs in June and others lost
    • The leisure and hospitality industry added 2,300 jobs. There were 1,900 job losses in the financial activities industry.
  • Though the leisure and hospitality industry has led the recovery by adding 75,200 jobs between Jan. ‘21 and June. ‘22, it is still down 6,300 jobs relative to Jan. ‘20.
    • Arts, entertainment, and recreation is down 1% (600 jobs).
    • Accommodation and food services is down 1.98% (5,700 jobs).

Colorado Labor Force Update

Colorado’s LFPR (labor force participation rate) increased in June to 69.5%, which combined with the job growth led to a decline in the unemployment rate to 3.4%. The LFPR of retirement-age (65 years and older) workers is now below its pre-pandemic level by 8.95 percentage points. After months where retirement age workers were re-entering the labor force, their LFPR has continued to decrease by 8.69 percentage points since March. This is surprising given the continued high level of inflation eating into household budgets, especially those on fixed incomes.

Key Findings—Colorado June ‘22 Labor Force Data (FRED[ii])

  • The LFPR increased slightly in June to 69.5%, .9 percentage points above Jan. ’20’s LFPR of 68.6%.
  • June’s unemployment rate dropped by .1 percentage points to 3.4%, which is still 0.7 percentage points above Jan. ’20’s unemployment rate of 2.7%.
  • In June, the LFPR of Colorado women increased from 62.27% to 63.33%.  It is now .81 percentage points below its pre-pandemic level.
    • The national female LFPR fell by .2 percentage points to 8%, which is 1 percentage point below its pre-pandemic level.
    • There are now 17,936 fewer women in the workforce than there would be if Colorado’s June LFPR of women was the same as it was before the pandemic.

Prime-age, Older, and Retirement-age People in the Labor Force

  • Since Jan. ’20, the labor force participation rate of all 50–64-year-old workers, regardless of sex, has increased by 3.76%.
  • There are 62,454 fewer retirement-age workers in the labor force today than there would be at the pre-pandemic participation rate. After several months of strong recovery, this group’s labor force participation rate has plummeted by 8.69 percentage points since March and now sits at 19.99%.
  • The LFPR of prime-age workers (25–49) shrunk by 1.25 percentage points and remains 2.94% below its Jan. ’20 level.

[i] https://www.bls.gov/data/

[ii] https://fred.stlouisfed.org/