Non-farm payroll jobs decreased 2,400 from November to December to 2,316,600 jobs, according to the survey of business establishments. Private sector payroll jobs decreased 2,500 and government increased 100.
According to the survey of households, the unemployment rate decreased one tenth of one percentage point over the month to 7.6 percent. The decrease in the unemployment rate was caused by a larger increase in the number of people reporting their status as employed than in the number of people actively participating in the labor force. The national unemployment rate was unchanged over the same period at 7.8 percent.
Over the year, the average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased from 34.6 to 35.5 hours and average hourly earnings increased from $24.20 to $25.26.
The largest over the month private sector job gain was in construction. The largest over the month declines were in professional and business services, trade, transportation and utilities, and education and health services.
Over the year, nonfarm payroll jobs increased 51,300. Private sector payroll jobs increased 47,600 and government increased 3,700. The largest private sector job gains were in professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality. The only sector that declined over the year was information.
Over the year, the unemployment rate declined three tenths of one percentage point from 7.9 percent in December 2011. The number of Coloradans participating in the labor force decreased 8,100, total employment decreased 1,200 and the number of unemployed decreased 6,900. The national unemployment rate declined from 8.5 percent in December 2011 to 7.8 percent in December 2012.