© Copyright 2008 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 45 No. 9

Wyoming Unemployment Inches Up to 3.6% in July 2008

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 3.2% in June to 3.6% in July. Unemployment has been slowly increasing from its recent low of 2.6% in April. July’s unemployment rate is the highest for Wyoming since November 2005. Despite the recent increases, Wyoming unemployment remains much lower than the U.S. average (5.7% in July) and job growth in the state continues at a healthy pace.

From June to July Wyoming employment fell by 4,100 jobs (1.3%). This level of decrease is consistent with normal seasonal patterns. Employment usually decreases in July as public schools are closed for the summer. Large seasonal increases in construction (500 jobs, or 1.7%), retail trade (500 jobs, or 1.5%), and leisure & hospitality (1,700 jobs, or 4.4%) were more than offset by seasonal job losses in government (including public schools, colleges, & hospitals; -6,800 jobs, or -9.6%).

Over the year Wyoming added 7,400 jobs (2.5%). The largest job gains were in construction (2,300 jobs, or 8.1%), natural resources & mining (including oil & gas; 1,500 jobs, or 5.4%), and government (including public schools, colleges, & hospitals; 1,500 jobs, or 2.4%). Job growth was also seen in transportation, warehousing, & utilities (300 jobs, or 2.0%), financial activities (300 jobs, or 2.6%), educational & health services (500 jobs, or 2.1%), and leisure & hospitality (900 jobs, or 2.3%). Employment remained flat in Wyoming’s information sector and decreased slightly in manufacturing (-300 jobs, or -3.0%) and other services (-200 jobs, or -1.7%).

Most county unemployment rates increased slightly from year-ago levels. The largest increases occurred in Niobrara County (up from 2.2% in July 2007 to 3.7% in July 2008), Johnson County (up from 2.9% to 4.1%), Crook County (up from 2.3% to 3.2%), and Goshen County (up from 3.5% to 4.4%). The highest unemployment rates were found in Big Horn (4.6%), Platte (4.5%), and Goshen (4.4%) counties.

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