Copyright 2002 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

 

Covered Employment and Wages for Fourth Quarter 2001

by:  David Bullard, Senior Economist

tables by:  Nancy Brennan, Economist

"Gas plant construction helped push employment in the Construction industry up by 1,513 jobs or 8.6 percent."

Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered employment1 increased by 7,048 jobs or 3.0 percent during fourth quarter of 2001 compared to fourth quarter 2000. Fourth quarter's employment increase is significantly higher than the five-year average growth of 1.8 percent (see Table 1). Total payroll increased by 6.5 percent, slightly below the five-year average of 6.7 percent. Average weekly wage increased by $19 or 3.3 percent, below its five-year average of 4.5 percent. 

Statewide Employment and Wages by Industry

Table 2 shows that Mining, Construction, Services, and Local Government created the largest number of jobs in fourth quarter. Mining added 2,748 jobs or 15.5 percent as a result of strong gains in oil & gas extraction and coal mining. Employment was down slightly in other areas of Mining (metal mining and nonmetallic mineral mining). Gas plant construction helped push employment in the Construction industry up by 1,513 jobs or 8.6 percent. Services gained 1,353 jobs or 2.7 percent, including 400 jobs in miscellaneous repair services, 500 jobs in health services, 400 jobs in private social services, and 500 jobs in engineering & management services. Employment growth in private sector Services would have been greater without a change in the classification of firms owned by American Indian Tribes to the public sector. Local Government grew by 1,158 jobs or 3.1 percent, but part of this employment increase is related to the reclassification of Indian Tribal Councils from private sector Services to Local Government.2 Job gains in local hospitals (200 jobs) also helped increase Local Government employment during fourth quarter. 

Wholesale Trade grew significantly during fourth quarter, adding 300 jobs or 3.9 percent. The majority of these job gains was in durable goods and may be related to increased oil & gas activity in the State.

Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate (FIRE) added 386 jobs or 4.8 percent in fourth quarter. Depository institutions and holding companies each added 100 jobs. Insurance employment was flat.

Manufacturing and Retail Trade both lost jobs when compared with fourth quarter 2000. Manufacturing employment decreased by 476 jobs or 4.1 percent because of job losses in food processing, chemicals, and petroleum refining. Within Retail Trade, large job losses occurred in food stores and general merchandise stores. However, employment grew in building materials & garden supply stores and eating & drinking places.

Average weekly wage increased $19 or 3.3 percent. The largest increase in average weekly wage occurred in FIRE, a gain of $111 per week or 17.3 percent. Part of this increase was related to a bonus paid in fourth quarter in Teton County. Wholesale Trade's average weekly wage increased by $76 or 11.3 percent during fourth quarter. 

The average weekly wage in Mining decreased by $305 or 22.8 percent, in part because a large bonus paid in Natrona County in fourth quarter 2000 was not repeated in 2001.

Employment and Wages by County

As shown in Table 3, employment increased in 15 of Wyoming's 23 counties during fourth quarter. Campbell County was the fastest growing area of the State, adding 1,773 jobs or 9.5 percent. About half of the job gains in Campbell County were in Mining (including oil & gas extraction). Employment in Construction; Transportation Communications, & Public Utilities (TCPU); and Services also grew rapidly.

Fremont County grew by 959 jobs or 6.8 percent during fourth quarter. A large part of this increase was Construction employment related to a new gas plant. 

Job gains in Construction helped push up Uinta County employment by 554 jobs or 6.8 percent.

Sweetwater County added 279 jobs or 1.5 percent during fourth quarter. Strong gains in oil & gas extraction and Construction were partially offset by job losses in TCPU, Manufacturing, and Retail Trade.

Natrona County grew by 269 jobs or 0.8 percent as a result of job gains in oil & gas extraction and Manufacturing. Employment fell in Retail Trade and TCPU.

Employment fell in Teton County by 270 jobs or 1.8 percent during fourth quarter 2001. Modest gains in FIRE and Agriculture were not enough to offset job losses in TCPU, Retail Trade, and Services. Within Services, job losses appear concentrated in tourist-related industries such as hotels & other lodging places and amusement & recreation services. These job losses may be related to a decrease in travel because of the events of September 11, 2001.

Laramie County experienced a decrease in employment of 266 jobs or 0.7 percent during fourth quarter 2001. Employment in Retail Trade and Services was lower than expected because two large statewide employers with worksites in Laramie County stopped reporting at the county level and now only submit statewide employment reports. Manufacturing and TCPU each fell by about 100 jobs. Significant job gains were seen in Construction, FIRE, and State Government.

Average weekly wage increased in all but two of Wyoming's counties. Wages fell by $143 or 19.6 percent in Natrona County because a bonus paid in the oil & gas industry in fourth quarter 2000 was not repeated in 2001. Big Horn County's average weekly wage decreased by $4 or 0.7 percent as a bonus from fourth quarter 2000 was not repeated in 2001.

Teton County had the largest increase in average weekly wage, a gain of $122 or 21.1 percent. Part of this increase was related to bonuses paid in Manufacturing and FIRE. 

More detailed tables on covered employment and wages are located on our Internet site at <http://LMI.state.wy.us/toc_202.htm>.


1Approximately 85-90 percent of all workers in Wyoming are covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI). Some exceptions include the self-employed and many agricultural workers.

2This reclassification was necessitated by a change in federal Unemployment Insurance law, which now treats Indian Tribal Councils similarly to state and local governments. Previously, Indian Tribal Councils were classified as privately owned membership organizations.

 

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