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Colorado’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.9% in August

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Robert Davis | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – Colorado’s unemployment rate ticked lower to 5.9% in August, the state Labor Department said Friday.

The rate represents a 0.2% month-over-month decrease as the state added 5,600 nonfarm payroll jobs last month. More than 5,000 of the jobs created were in the private sector, according to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE).

Colorado’s unemployment rate is still 0.7% higher than the national average of 5.2%, CDLE data shows.

One factor driving down the state’s unemployment rate is its decreasing labor force. August marked the third consecutive month of decreasing labor force participation with 2,300 people leaving the workforce.

The share of residents participating in the workforce stood at 68.3% in August, which is unchanged from July. However, the total is still below the 68.7% participation rate from February 2020, the data shows.

Colorado continues to be a leading state in job recovery. Over the last 16 months, Colorado has replenished 78% of the jobs it lost between February and April 2020, according to the data. Nonfarm payroll jobs have made up 40% of this growth with sectors such as leisure, business services, and transportation leading the way.

In August 2021, the leisure and hospitality industry led the way in job growth with more than 3,700 jobs created, according to the state's data. Services and trade organizations rounded out the top-three job creating industries, with 3,400 and 1,100 jobs created, respectively.