Colorado Q1, 2019 Employment Statistics

  • 207,605 employers, up 2.4% from 202,688
  • 2,682,434 employees, up 2.2% from 2,625,237
  • $1,231 average weekly wage, up 4.8% from $1,175
  • The average weekly wage is 4.0% above the national average
  • The cost of living is 5.5% above the national average

Employer & Employee Growth

In the last year, the number of employers in the state increased by 4,917, which is an increase of 2.4%. The number of employees in Colorado increased by 57,197, an increase of 2.2%. During this same period, the average weekly wage increased by $56, an increase of 4.8%.

The number of private employers increased since last years' Q1. The number of private businesses increased by 4,928 or 2.5%. Growth in private businesses in Colorado grew slower than the national average of 3.0%. The number of employees in these businesses increased since last years' Q1, increasing by 49,504 or 2.2%. The growth in employees of private businesses in Colorado was faster than the national average of 1.7%.

The average weekly wage of employees of private businesses increased since last years' Q1. The averge weekly wage increased by $61 or 5.1%. Growth in average weekly wage of employees of private businesses in Colorado grew faster than the national average of 3.0%.


Leading Sectors

Businesses by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of businesses in the state is Professional services with 18.3% of the businesses in the state. The number of businesses in this sector increased by 1.7%. Construction (9.6%), which increased by 1.3% and Healthcare (8.8%), which decreased by 1.0%, round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Business Change %
SectorChange Biz% Change
Company management45516.8%
Information1734.2%
Real estate and rental4673.9%
Educational services782.5%
Professional services6431.7%
Construction2531.3%
Other services1561.0%
Arts and entertainment250.8%
Accommodation and food services700.5%
Transport and warehousing130.3%
Finance and insurance210.2%
Wholesale trade-14-0.1%
Manufacturing-16-0.3%
Mining and oil extraction-6-0.4%
Agriculture and forestry-7-0.4%
Waste services-81-0.7%
Healthcare-190-1.0%
Retail trade-191-1.1%
Utilities-7-1.7%


Employees by Sector

The sector with the greatest number of employees in the state is Healthcare with 11.2% of the employees in the state, had an increase in employees of 1.3% in the last year. Accommodation and food services (10.4%), increased by 0.4% and Retail trade (10.1%), increased by 0.5%, round out the top 3 sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Qtly Employee Change %
SectorEmployee Change% Change
Transport and warehousing5,3827.1%
Professional services9,8434.5%
Agriculture and forestry6914.2%
Real estate and rental2,0484.0%
Mining and oil extraction1,0633.9%
Company management1,4033.5%
Construction5,3613.3%
Manufacturing3,3552.3%
Other services1,7522.2%
Educational services7192.0%
Information1,2491.7%
Wholesale trade1,5631.5%
Arts and entertainment8431.5%
Healthcare3,8701.3%
Utilities831.0%
Waste services1,4961.0%
Retail trade1,3320.5%
Accommodation and food services1,0400.4%
Finance and insurance3900.3%


Average Weekly Wage by Sector

The sector that pays their employees the highest is Company management paying $3,537per week compared with the state average of $1,254. Weekly wages in this sector rose by $237 or 7.2%. Mining and oil extraction ($2,995), rose by $133 or 4.6% and Utilities ($2,420) increased by $127 or 5.5% round out the 3 largest sectors.

Table: Sectors by Year-over-Year Weekly Wage Change %
SectorWage ChangeChange %
Information$24911.5%
Waste services$789.4%
Company management$2377.2%
Manufacturing$946.5%
Wholesale trade$1116.3%
Utilities$1275.5%
Arts and entertainment$375.4%
Agriculture and forestry$375.3%
Accommodation and food services$235.2%
Transport and warehousing$564.9%
Mining and oil extraction$1334.6%
Real estate and rental$423.7%
Other services$293.7%
Professional services$593.2%
Healthcare$313.2%
Retail trade$182.9%
Educational services$202.6%
Finance and insurance$552.4%
Construction$221.9%


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 5.0% of the businesses in the state (with 10,412 employing 211,375 workers). The Restaurants and other eating places industry had 31 more businesses, an increase of 0.3% in the last year. Computer systems design and related services (4.5% of businesses) added 16 businesses, an increase of 0.2% and Management consulting services (3.5% of businesses) added 445 businesses, an increase of 6.6% round out the 3 industries with the most businesses.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change %
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Trusts estates and agency accounts2245.8%
Textile and fabric finishing mills240.0%
Food crops grown under cover733.3%
Adhesive manufacturing133.3%
Industrial gas manufacturing327.3%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing3625.5%
Frozen food manufacturing225.0%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Business Change #
IndustryBusiness Chg% Change
Management of companies and enterprises45516.8%
Management consulting services4456.6%
Offices of real estate agents and brokers3386.2%
Private households1964.3%
Data processing hosting and related services14813.5%
Offices of mental health practitioners10515.0%
Software publishers7811.8%


Employees by Industry

Computer systems design and related services (4.5% of employees) added 16 employees, an increase of 0.2% and Management consulting services (3.5% ofemployees) added 445 employees, an increase of 6.6% round out the 3 industries with the most employees.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change %
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
Other performing arts companies5177.8%
All other information services66167.6%
Aquaculture1972.5%
Drafting services15564.2%
Mobile food services11739.3%
Frozen food manufacturing8437.9%
Securities and commodity exchanges437.1%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Employee Change #
IndustryEmp Chg% Change
General warehousing and storage2,65535.1%
Computer systems design and related services2,1983.7%
Management consulting services1,9198.7%
Engineering services1,8555.4%
Data processing hosting and related services1,72414.9%
Oil and gas pipeline construction1,48431.5%
Management of companies and enterprises1,4033.5%


Average Weekly Wage by Industry

Computer systems design and related services ($4) and Management consulting services ($3) round out the top 3 industries. Employees in the Computer systems design and related services ($4 per week) were paid $16 more per week, an increase of 0.2% and Management consulting services ($3 per week) were paid $445 more per week, an increase of 6.6% round out the 3 industries that pay their employees the most.

Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change %
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Open-end investment funds$8,087188.3%
Scenic and sightseeing transportation other$694136.1%
Frozen food manufacturing$34459.7%
Pipeline transportation of natural gas$1,66453.7%
Fruit and vegetable markets$16548.5%
Other petroleum merchant wholesalers$78843.8%
All other support services$60539.6%


Table: Top 7 Industries by Wage Change $
IndustryWkly Chg% Change
Open-end investment funds$8,087188.3%
Pipeline transportation of natural gas$1,66453.7%
Footwear merchant wholesalers$1,66335.9%
Natural gas extraction$1,45031.6%
Securities and commodity exchanges$1,39729.5%
Computer and peripheral equipment mfg.$1,31830.9%
Spectator sports$1,24413.1%


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 92.9%. (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%.



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.