The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) state employment and labor force data released March 15th 2021, shows the rollercoaster employment trend continued through January. While Colorado ended 2020 with the 2nd highest increase in the unemployment rate of all states from the start of last year, the January 2021 data shows a sharp turnaround. Even though January data is a promising sign of recovery, there is still a long way to climb to reach pre-pandemic employment levels.

Key Findings on Colorado Employment as of January 2021

  • The state’s unemployment rate dropped .3 percentage points to 6.6%. While this is tied for the 22nd highest unemployment rate, there are 34 states with a lower unemployment rate.
  • Colorado added 32,300 total nonfarm jobs between the months of December 2020 and January 2021, ranking the 5th largest total increase among all states.
  • The monthly growth rate in total nonfarm jobs ranked 3rd highest among all states at 1.2%. Only Minnesota at 1.9% and New Hampshire at 1.4% ranked higher.
  • Despite the large increase in employment in January, total employment in Colorado was still down 5.7%, or 160,800 nonfarm jobs, relative to January 2020. This ranked Colorado 27th nationally on a percentage basis.
    • Utah added 3,200 jobs in January yet was only down 2,600, or .2%, from January 2020
    • California lost 69,900 jobs resulting in total loss of 1.75 million jobs, or 10%, from January 2020
    • Arizona added 13,700 jobs in January, resulting in a 4% reduction in jobs compared to January 2020 or -114,500 jobs.

Deeper Dive into Colorado Industries

  • The leisure and hospitality industry added 21,200 in January, however total employment in the sector was at 77% of its January 2020 level, a reduction of 81,100 jobs.
  • Professional business and technical services sector added 4,200 jobs in January, yet is still has 8,000, or -1.8%, fewer jobs than 12-months earlier.
  • The mining, logging and construction sector added just 400 jobs in January. The combined sector was down 13,600 jobs or -6.6% in January 2021 from 12-months earlier.