Colorado Sees September Improvement In Unemployment, Labor Force Participation

A pedestrian moves past a mural of Albert Einstein in Greeley.
David Zalubowski/AP
A pedestrian moves past a mural of Albert Einstein on the side of a bicycle shop Monday, Oct. 12, 2020, in Greeley, Colo.

Colorado added 13,400 nonfarm jobs to payrolls in September, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. 

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 6.4 percent, compared to 6.7 percent in August, according to a statement from the CDLE. That compares to a national unemployment rate of 7.9 percent.

The labor force participation rate climbed 1.2 percentage points to 67.9 percent. That’s down from 69.4 percent in February before the pandemic. At the same time, the employment-to-population ratio stands at 63.6 percent, reflecting a jump since it bottomed at 58.3 percent in April. Still, it’s well below the February rate of 67.7 percent. 

In Colorado, the demographic of people not in the labor force skews toward older people who say they don’t want a job, rather than discouraged workers that have dropped out because they can’t find a job, Ryan Gedney, an economist at the CDLE, said in a conference call with reporters. 

“Certainly if the recession prolongs and extends … something we’ll be looking for is — do we see more and more discouraged workers.”  

The counties with the highest rates of unemployment are Huerfano, Summit, Gilpin, Pueblo and Denver.