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


Vol. 45 No. 10

Wyoming Job Growth Slows in August 2008

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming’s over-the-year job growth rate slowed slightly from 2.9% in July (as revised) to 2.2% in August. It has been trending downward since its peak at 5.6% in June 2006. Unemployment continued to move upward slightly, increasing from 3.6% in July to 3.9% in August. However, Wyoming’s labor market continues to perform well when compared to the U.S. economy. U.S. unemployment stood at 6.1% in August, and U.S. employment fell from a year earlier (-0.3%).

From July to August Wyoming employment fell by 1,800 jobs (-0.6%). The normal seasonal pattern for August is for employment to increase slightly. Over the past five years employment has increased by an average of 420 jobs from July to August. Employment decreased in natural resources & mining (-200 jobs, or -0.7%), construction (-700 jobs, or -2.3%), leisure & hospitality (-600 jobs, or -1.5%), and government (-700 jobs, or -1.1%). These job losses were partially offset by job gains in retail trade (100 jobs, or 0.3%), transportation, warehousing, & utilities (100 jobs, or 0.7%), professional & business services (100 jobs, or 0.5%), and educational & health services (100 jobs, or 0.4%).

Compared to a year earlier, employment increased by 6,500 jobs (2.2%). Growth was seen in many sectors including natural resources & mining (1,300 jobs, or 4.7%), construction (1,000 jobs, or 3.4%), retail trade (500 jobs, or 1.5%), financial activities (200 jobs, or 1.7%), educational & health services (600 jobs, or 2.6%), leisure & hospitality (900 jobs, or 2.3%), and government (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals; 1,500 jobs, or 2.4%). Manufacturing employment fell by 300 jobs (-3.0%) and employment was unchanged in information and other services.

Across Wyoming’s 23 counties most unemployment rates increased slightly from July to August. The highest unemployment rates were found in Big Horn (4.7%), Fremont (4.5%), and Platte (4.4%) counties. Sublette County again posted the lowest unemployment rate (1.8%), followed by Teton (2.0%), Campbell (2.3%), and Sweetwater (2.7%) counties.

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