Colorado’s unemployment rate dropped, but so did the number of people in the workforce | SummitDaily.com
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Colorado’s unemployment rate dropped, but so did the number of people in the workforce

Tamara Chuang
The Colorado Sun
Visitors and residents walk along Main Street in Breckenridge on a snowy evening March 4, 2021.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archive

Ups and downs in the Colorado economy led to a mixed employment report for December. The state’s unemployment rate sunk to 3.3% from November. But also dropping? The number of Coloradans in the labor force.

That means during a month when more people traditionally take on a part-time or seasonal job, fewer were working or looking for work. Approximately, a drop of 7,200 individuals. It pulled the labor force participation rate down to 69%, or two-tenths of a point lower than in November. Ryan Gedney, senior economist with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, reminded that data always gets a second look so after revisions in the next few months, the December labor market may not seem so sour.

“We really saw a fast increase in the participation rate earlier in 2022 and then we’ve really seen it decline over the past three to four months,” Gedney said Friday during a news conference.  “But really, the change in the participation rate isn’t that great, moving from 69.6% (in August) to 69% (in December). The state has constantly been in the top five in participation rates for 2022 (compared) to the nation and other states.”



Colorado’s labor force is still near an all-time high, at 3,244,700 people, as of December.

And even though some workers dropped out of the job market, Colorado businesses said they added jobs in December — or 8,600 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to the business establishment survey. That’s how the state calculates the job recovery from the worst of the pandemic. Colorado has recovered 127.8% of the jobs lost in March and April 2020.



Read the full story on ColoradoSun.com.


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