February 2010

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Labor Market Information


Wyoming Unemployment Rate Increases to 7.5% in December

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Employment has reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate rose from 7.2% in November to 7.5% in December (not a statistically significant change). Despite this increase, Wyoming’s unemployment rate remained significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 10.0%. Over-the-year job losses were seen in all but two sectors (educational & health services and government).

Over the year, employment decreased by 20,600 jobs, or 6.9%. Construction (-6,800 jobs, or -24.8%) and natural resources & mining (including oil & gas; -5,800 jobs, or -19.2%) posted the largest job losses. Notable job losses were also seen in manufacturing (-700 jobs, or -7.1%), wholesale trade (-700 jobs, or -7.6%), retail trade (-2,000 jobs, or -6.0%), transportation & utilities (-800 jobs, or -5.3%), professional & business services (-1,700 jobs, or -9.4%), leisure & hospitality (-1,800 jobs, or -5.5%), and other services (-1,200 jobs, or -9.8%). Employment increased in educational & health services (900 jobs, or 3.6%) and government (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals; 800 jobs, or 1.1%).

From November to December Wyoming lost 1,600 jobs, or 0.6%. This stands in contrast to the normal seasonal increase of approximately 1,200 jobs, or 0.4%. Larger than normal seasonal employment decreases were seen in construction (-3,100 jobs, or -13.1%) and professional & business services (-700 jobs, or -4.1%). Seasonal employment gains occurred in retail trade (400 jobs, or 1.3%), leisure & hospitality (1,700 jobs, or 5.8%), and government (300 jobs, or 0.4%).

Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from November to December. The highest unemployment rates were found in Johnson (9.3%), Teton (9.0%), Lincoln (8.8%), and Big Horn (8.8%) counties. Sublette County posted the lowest unemployment rate (4.5%) followed by Albany (4.6%) and Goshen (5.9%) counties.

1    Seasonal adjustment is a statistical procedure to remove the impact of normal regularly recurring events (such as weather, major holidays, and the opening and closing of schools) from economic time series in order to obtain a better understanding of changes in economic conditions from month to month.

Last modified by Michael Moore.