Colorado Q4, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 211,714 employers, up 2.6% from 206,332
  • 2,763,790 employees, up 2.3% from 2,702,177
  • $1,227 average weekly wage, up 4.0% from $1,180
  • The average weekly wage is 3.5% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 5.6% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 5,382, which is an increase of 2.6%. The number of employees in Colorado increased by 61,614, an increase of 2.3%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $47, an increase of 4.0%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 5,342 or 2.6%. Growth in private businesses in Colorado grew faster than the national average of 2.5%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 51,474 or 2.3%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Colorado was faster than the national average of 1.2%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $47 or 3.9%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Colorado grew faster than the national average of 3.8%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Professional services with 18.9% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 6.0%. Construction (9.7%), which increased by 3.7% and Healthcare (8.7%), which increased by 0.7%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Company management55818.4%
Arts and entertainment2277.0%
Real estate and rental8396.9%
Professional services2,2716.0%
Other services9285.7%
Educational services1735.5%
Waste services5304.5%
Transport and warehousing1824.4%
Agriculture and forestry633.7%
Construction7323.7%
Accommodation and food services3922.9%
Information1062.5%
Finance and insurance2131.9%
Manufacturing1061.8%
Wholesale trade1931.4%
Healthcare1200.7%
Retail trade-104-0.6%
Mining and oil extraction-16-1.0%
Utilities-9-2.2%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 11.1% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 1.9% in the last year. Accommodation and food services (10.3%), increased by 1.3% and Retail trade (10.0%), decreased by 0.4%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Agriculture and forestry2,14812.1%
Transport and warehousing6,6538.1%
Real estate and rental2,8715.4%
Professional services11,1264.9%
Arts and entertainment2,4184.5%
Company management1,5073.6%
Other services2,6713.2%
Educational services1,1113.0%
Waste services4,6252.9%
Construction5,1002.9%
Information1,7242.3%
Utilities1602.0%
Healthcare5,8891.9%
Wholesale trade1,9931.8%
Manufacturing2,2461.5%
Accommodation and food services3,7021.3%
Finance and insurance-80.0%
Retail trade-1,078-0.4%
Mining and oil extraction-1,291-4.5%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $2,927per week compared with the state average of $1,237. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $460 or 18.6%. Mining and oil extraction ($2,307), rose by $74 or 3.3% and Professional services ($2,127) increased by $43 or 2.1% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Company management$46018.6%
Finance and insurance$1598.6%
Wholesale trade$985.8%
Agriculture and forestry$435.3%
Information$965.1%
Accommodation and food services$224.8%
Real estate and rental$614.8%
Retail trade$294.5%
Utilities$864.5%
Mining and oil extraction$743.3%
Construction$362.7%
Other services$202.4%
Manufacturing$322.3%
Healthcare$222.2%
Professional services$432.1%
Educational services$172.0%
Transport and warehousing$191.8%
Waste services$-8-0.9%
Arts and entertainment$-51-6.2%


Leading Industries

Businesses by Industry

Each broad sector is made up of specific industries. In Colorado. the industry with the most businesses is Restaurants and other eating places with 5.1% of the businesses in the state (with 10,733 employing 215,324 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 271 more businesses, an increase of 2.6% in the last year. Computer systems design and related services (4.6% of businesses) added 604 businesses, an increase of 6.6% and Management consulting services (3.7% of businesses) added 615 businesses, an increase of 8.6% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Pension funds360.0%
Other performing arts companies360.0%
Other hospitals1352.0%
Broadwoven fabric mills150.0%
Power boiler and heat exchanger manufacturing150.0%
Ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturing444.4%
Frozen food manufacturing444.4%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Management consulting services6158.6%
Computer systems design and related services6046.6%
Private households59412.7%
Management of companies and enterprises55818.4%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers5259.2%
All other professional and technical services30917.7%
Restaurants and other eating places2712.6%


Employees by Industry

Computer systems design and related services (4.6% of employees) added 604 employees, an increase of 6.6% and Management consulting services (3.7% ofemployees) added 615 employees, an increase of 8.6% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
All other information services66118.4%
All other crop farming1,36066.5%
Sporting goods merchant wholesalers81155.9%
Other nonmetallic mineral mining6251.4%
Other farm product raw material merch. whls.9846.8%
Mobile food services18343.4%
Apiculture1241.5%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Computer systems design and related services4,0726.5%
General warehousing and storage2,83127.2%
Restaurants and other eating places2,3231.1%
Engineering services1,6614.6%
Management of companies and enterprises1,5073.6%
Data processing hosting and related services1,42311.0%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels1,3903.4%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

The industry that pays their employees the most is Spectator sports, paying $10,481 compared with the state average of $1,237. The Spectator sports industry paid their employees $2,856 less per week, a decline of 21.4% in the last year. Investment banking and securities dealing ($5,251) and Trusts estates and agency accounts ($4,807) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Investment banking and securities dealing ($5,251 per week) were paid $506 more per week, an increase of 10.7% and Trusts estates and agency accounts ($4,807 per week) were paid $2,382 more per week, an increase of 98.2% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Women's girls' infants' cut-sew apparel mfg$399145.1%
Sporting goods merchant wholesalers$1,26098.4%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$2,38298.2%
Other basic inorganic chemical manufacturing$94652.5%
Political organizations$43250.1%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$73140.4%
Other credit intermediation activities$48539.5%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts$2,38298.2%
Sporting goods merchant wholesalers$1,26098.4%
Other basic inorganic chemical manufacturing$94652.5%
Business to business electronic markets$75127.8%
Mortgage and nonmortgage loan brokers$73140.4%
Other nondepository credit intermediation$67935.8%
Gold ore and silver ore mining$64233.3%


Company Size

Colorado Businesses by Size

The solopreneur company, has the most businesses in Colorado by far. 64.3% of all businesses in the state have fewer than 5 employees. The 196,302 small businesses in the state represent 96.1% of all private businesses. The national average is 91.2%. (Small businesses have fewer than 50 employees, Solopreneurs employ fewer than 5.) Colorado added 4,928 businesses in the last year, an increase of 2.5% as compared to the national average of 3.0%.

Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 4,700 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 2.5% as compared to the national average of 3.1%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. These mid-sized businesses added 224 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 3.0% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. These large businesses added 4 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 1.5% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.



Colorado Employees by Business Size

Colorado added 148,511 employees in the last year, an increase of 7.0% as compared to the national average of 5.2%. Small businesses are defined as companies with fewer than 50 employees. These small businesses added 55,706 businesses in the last year, which is an increase of 39.6% as compared to the national average of 4.2%.

Mid-sized businesses are defined as companies with between 50 and 499 employees. Mid-sized businesses added 73,540 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 9.3% as compared to the national average of 4.7%.

Large businesses are defined as companies with more than 500 employees. Large businesses added 19,265 employees in the last year, which is an increase of 7.2% as compared to the national average of 9.2%.

Colorado Avg Weekly Wages by Business Size

The smallest companies in Colorado (those with fewer than 5 employees) pay workers 18.4% more than the national average ($1,232 per week as compared to the national average of $1,005 per week). The largest companies in Colorado (those with more than 1,000 employees) pay 6.5% workers below the national average ($1,796 per week as compared to the national average of $1,913 per week).

Average weekly wages in small businesses added $195 per week in the last year, which is an increase of 4.8% as compared to the national average of 3.1%. Employees of mid-sized businesses added $231 in wages per week in the last year, which is an increase of 6.0% as compared to the national average of 1.3%.

Employees of large businesses added $148 of weekly wages in the last year, which is an increase of 4.4% as compared to the national average of 2.1%.

Top Industries for Business and Employment

The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of businesses:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Businesses
Industry# Businesses% Change
Restaurants and other eating places10,7332.6%
Computer systems design and related services9,8036.6%
Management consulting services7,7358.6%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers6,2429.2%
Private households5,27512.7%
Residential building construction4,4823.3%
Accounting and bookkeeping services4,1462.1%
Offices of lawyers3,7952.2%
Management of companies and enterprises3,58618.4%
Insurance agencies and brokerages3,5191.1%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by number of employees:

Table: Top 10 Industries by # of Employees
Industry# Employees% Change
Restaurants and other eating places215,3241.1%
Computer systems design and related services66,5106.5%
General medical and surgical hospitals48,885-0.4%
Temporary help services46,7062.7%
Management of companies and enterprises42,9433.6%
Hotels and motels except casino hotels42,3743.4%
Supermarkets and other grocery stores40,227-0.6%
Offices of physicians38,5241.7%
Engineering services37,9654.6%
General merchandise stores including warehouse clubs and supercenters37,4342.3%


The table below illustrates the largest industries in the state, by highest wages:

Table: Top 10 Industries by Weekly Wage
IndustryWkly Wages% Change
Spectator sports$10,481-21.4%
Investment banking and securities dealing$5,25110.7%
Trusts estates and agency accounts$4,80798.2%
Securities and commodity exchanges$4,548-12.3%
Miscellaneous intermediation$3,5963.0%
Land subdivision$3,583-1.6%
Business to business electronic markets$3,45727.8%
Commodity contracts brokerage$3,45210.8%
Crude petroleum extraction$3,3233.8%
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg.$3,318-15.0%




Data Sources




About the Writer

This page was created and is maintained by Kurt Tietjen, Founder of Stavera, High Peak Media & HomeGearWorks.com. Kurt is an executive, data scientist and software engineer who holds an MBA in Management Information Systems. In 2010, he partnered with scientists at Northwestern University to launch The Street Wire. This was one of the first mainstream uses of what would become “Narrative Science”, an artificial intelligence platform specializing in natural language generation. You can contact Kurt on LinkedIn here.