In 1998, average annual Unemployment Insurance covered employment of 220,664 in Wyoming increased by1.7 percent (3,064 jobs) when compared to 217,060 in 1997 (see Table 1). Wyoming's employment continues to show steady growth from the "bust" year 1987 (when employment was lowest at 178,077) to the highest employment ever of 220,664 jobs in 1998--surpassing the 1981 "boom" employment high of 216,075 jobs.
Total payroll increased a healthy 5.4 percent ($281.1 million) during the 1997-98 period in comparison to a $281.1 million (6.0%) increase from 1996 to 1997. The 1998 average annual wage of $24,745 represented a increase of 3.7 percent ($884) from $23,861 in 1997, and exceeded the 1998 inflation rate of 1.6 percent.
When the effect of inflation is removed ("deflated," via CPI-U), total payroll increased in real dollar terms by $123 million (3.8%) over the 1997-98 time period. The real average annual wage increased only $315 (2.1%). In other words, additional "real" dollars went into consumer's pockets, or more pockets with more dollars per pocket. (The rate of inflation was 2.3% and 1.6%, respectively in 1997 and 1998.)
Employment by Industry
Service-producing industries (TCPU; Wholesale and Retail Trade; FIRE; Services; State, Local, and Federal Government) dominate Wyoming's economic structure. Services, the largest division in the state (21.8% of Wyoming's employment, 48,106 jobs), continued to grow showing the largest employment gain of 1,465 jobs (3.1 %) from 1997 to 1998. Within Services, business services gained 722 workers (12.3%), social services gained 273 workers (5.2%), hotels and other lodging places gained 179 workers (2.0%), and engineering and other management services gained 106 workers (3.1%). Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (FIRE), the ninth largest employment division (3.9% of Wyoming's employment, 8,545 jobs), posted a 418 job gain (5.1%). Within FIRE, depository institutions gained 143 jobs (4.7%), real estate gained 117 jobs (6.6%), and insurance carriers gained 99 jobs (8.2%). Retail Trade, the second largest employment division (20.4% of Wyoming's employment, 45,074 jobs), gained a mere 234 employees (0.5%). Within Retail Trade, automotive dealers and service stations gained 234 jobs (3.0%) and building materials and garden supplies gained 158 jobs (8.5%). Offsetting these gains, eating and drinking places suffered a 379 job loss (-2.2%). Local Government, the third largest sector (15.6% of Wyoming's employment, 34,419 jobs) in the state, also gained a stark 223 jobs (0.7%). Within Local Government, educational services gained 150 jobs (0.8%), hospitals gained 66 jobs (1.3%), executive and legislative combined gained 61 jobs (0.8%), and environmental quality gained 37 jobs (7.9%). Weakening these gains within Local Government, public order and safety lost 125 workers (-45.3%). Transportation, Communications, and Public Utilities (TCPU), the seventh largest division (5.0% of Wyoming's employment, 11,107 jobs) within private industry, gained 92 workers (0.8%); Wholesale Trade, the tenth largest division (3.5% of Wyoming's employment, 7,791 jobs), also showed a 0.8 percent gain (59 workers); Federal Government, the eleventh largest sector (3.2% of Wyoming's employment, 7,113 jobs) in the state, posted a 34 job gain (0.5%). Within TCPU, trucking and warehousing increased 127 jobs (3.6%), communications increased by 94 jobs (4.8%), and electric, gas and sanitary services decreased by 147 jobs (-4.6%). Within Wholesale Trade, durable goods gained 78 workers (1.8%) and nondurable goods lost 19 workers (-0.5%). Within Federal Government, regulation of agricultural marketing gained 87 jobs (73.7%), U.S. Postal Service gained 37 jobs (2.6%), and federal and federally-sponsored credit agencies lost 7 jobs (-13.0%). A noneconomic code change from Public Administration to miscellaneous amusement, recreation services in Services occurred within Federal Government in the National Park Service. State Government, the sixth largest employment sector (5.2% of Wyoming's employment, 11,548 jobs), was the only sector that experienced a loss of any kind over the 1997-98 time period with an overall 93 job loss (-0.8%). Within State Government, public order and safety lost 181 workers (-19.4%), colleges and universities lost 92 workers (-2.7%), and highway and street construction gained 207 workers (11.6%).
The goods-producing industries (Construction, Mining, Manufacturing) showed a healthy employment increase overall. Construction, the fifth largest employment division (7.2% of Wyoming's employment, 15,983 jobs) within private industry, showed the second largest employment gain of all industries (932 jobs or 6.2%). General building contractors gained 395 jobs (11.2%), special trade contractors gained 339 jobs (4.7%), and heavy contractors, except building gained 197 jobs (4.6%). Manufacturing, the eighth largest employment division (5.0% of Wyoming's employment, 10,932 workers) within private industry, posted a 189 job gain (1.8%) over the year. Significant job increases within Manufacturing included 86 in fabricated metal products (16.9%), 75 in miscellaneous manufacturing industries (51.7%), and 35 in transportation equipment (11.6%). However, in Manufacturing significant job losses occurred in food and kindred products with 45 (-4.5%), in primary metal industries with 45 (-13.9%), and in lumber and wood products with 31 (-2.4%). Mining, the fourth largest employment division (7.6% of Wyoming's employment with 16,836 jobs) in the state, gained only four jobs (0.0%) over the year. Oil and gas extraction gained 102 jobs (1.2%) and metal mining only gained 23 jobs (3.5%). Nonmetallic minerals, except fuels lost 69 workers (-2.2%) and coal mining lost 52 workers (-1.1%) within Mining.
Geographically, all regions and businesses not classified by county demonstrated an average monthly employment growth between 1997 and 1998. With 22.3% of Wyoming's jobs (see map) the Southwest Region led the other regions in 1997-98 annual average monthly employment growth with a gain of 1,177 jobs (2.5%). Most of the Southwest Region's increase occurred in Teton (6.7% of Wyoming's jobs) and Sweetwater (8.8% of Wyoming's jobs and 11.6% of Wyoming's total payroll) counties. Southwest Region's biggest economic components consist of tourism, Construction, Mining, and government. Half the divisions, with the exception of Agriculture, Mining, TCPU, Wholesale Trade, and government, in the Southwest Region posted healthy employment gains (see Table 82).
The Southeast region with 25.5% of Wyoming's jobs showed a gain of 554 workers (1.0%). Most of the Southeast's increase occurred in Laramie (15.7% of Wyoming's jobs) and Albany (6.2% of Wyoming's jobs) counties. Retail Trade, Services, and Government are the largest industrial divisions in the Southeast Region. As Table 100 shows, most divisions, with the exception of Retail Trade and State Government, in the Southeast Region showed modest employment gains.
As shown in Table 1, generating 6.7 percent of Wyoming's jobs and 6.3 percent of Wyoming's total payroll, Teton County (Southwest Region) registered the highest 1997-98 annual monthly employment gain of 600 jobs (4.3%). Teton County is very dependent upon tourism and is highly influenced by executive pay and/or bonuses. Executive pay/bonuses in Teton County were paid in excess of $15 million in 1998.
Laramie County (Southeast Region) registered the second highest 1997-98 annual average monthly employment gain of 481 jobs (1.4%), and generates 15.7 percent of Wyoming's jobs with 15.4 percent of Wyoming's total payroll. Most of Laramie's growth (see Table 109) was in the TCPU, FIRE, Manufacturing, Local Government, and Wholesale Trade divisions. Retail Trade, Services, Government, and FIRE are the largest industrial divisions in Laramie County.
Nonclassified jobs increased statewide in 1997-98 by 667 workers (11.3%).
Six counties posted employment losses during 1997-98 time period. In the Central Region, Carbon County lost 72 jobs (-1.1%). Crook County in the Northeast Region suffered a loss of 52 jobs (-2.8%). Goshen County (Southeast Region) lost 34 workers (-0.8%), and Hot Springs County (Northwest Region) lost 20 (-1.0%). In the Southwest Region, Lincoln County suffered a 14 job loss (-0.3%). Johnson County suffered a 1997-98 employment loss of 2 jobs (-0.1%) in the Northeast Region.
In 1998, once again eight major industrial divisions were above the $24,745 statewide annual wage including: Mining, $47,676 (93% above state average); Federal Government, $38,088 (54% above state average); Transportation, Communications and Public Utilities (TCPU), $34,436 (39% above state average); Manufacturing, $32,211 (30% above state average); Wholesale Trade, $30,374 (23% above state average); FIRE, $29,325 (18.5% above state average); State Government, $28,054 (13.4% above state average); and Construction, $26,844 (8.5% above state average). Four industrial divisions were below the state annual wage in 1998, including: Retail Trade, $13,789 (-44.3% below state average); Agriculture, Forestry, & Fisheries, $17,197 (-30.5% below state average); Services, $19,411 (-21.6% below state average); and Local Government, $23,283 (-6% below state average).
Table A: Detailed Two and Three-Digit Industry Annual Wages
The 1998 twenty highest detailed industry average annual wages in Wyoming included:
(1) Security & commodity brokers (SIC 62, FIRE), $104,689;
(2) Administration of educational programs (SIC 941, Public Administration (PA))- Federal Government, $66,465;
(3) Holding offices (SIC 671, FIRE), $64,101;
(4) International affairs (SIC 972, PA)-Federal Government, $62,490;
(5) Natural gas liquids (SIC 132, Mining), $62,377;
(6) Bituminous coal & lignite mining (SIC 122, Mining), $60,694;
(7) Regulation, administration of transportation (SIC 962, PA)-Federal Government, $59,646;
(8) Chemical & fertilizer minerals (SIC 147, Mining), $59,550;
(9) Public order & safety (SIC 922, PA)-Federal Government, $57,410;
(10) Chemicals & allied products (SIC 28, Manufacturing), $55,837;
(11) Electric services (SIC 491, TCPU), $55,136;
(12) Services, Not Elsewhere Classified (SIC 899, Services)-Federal Government, $54,771;
(13) Central reserve depositories (SIC 601, FIRE)-Federal Government, $54,527;
(14) Pipelines, except natural gas (SIC 461, TCPU), $52,611;
(15) Management & public relations (SIC 874, Services), $51,750;
(16) Housing & urban development programs (SIC 953, PA)-Federal Government, $50,760;
(17) Offices & clinics of medical doctors (SIC 801, Services), $49,415;
(18) Crude petroleum & natural gas (SIC 131, Mining), $49,211;
(19) Engineering & architectural services (SIC 871, Services)-Federal Government, $48,739;
(20) Finance, taxation, & monetary policy (SIC 931, PA)-Federal Government, $48,682.
Comparably, the following are the 1998 twenty lowest detailed industry average annual wages in Wyoming:
(1) Candy, nut, & confectionery stores (SIC 544, Retail Trade), $5,581;
(2) Motion picture theaters (SIC 783, Services), $5,751;
(3) Bowling centers (SIC 793, Services), $7,200;
(4) Video tape rental (SIC 784, Services), $7,259;
(5) Children & infants' wear stores (SIC 564, Retail Trade), $7,560;
(6) Civic & social associations (SIC 864, Services)-Federal Government, $8,004;
(7) Women's accessory & specialty stores (SIC 563, Retail Trade), $8,121;
(8) Retail bakeries (SIC 546, Retail Trade), $8,245;
(9) Eating & drinking places (SIC 581, Retail Trade), $8,545;
(10) Women's clothing stores (SIC 562, Retail Trade), $8,951;
(11) Variety stores (SIC 533, Retail Trade), $9,171;
(12) Services to buildings (SIC 734, Services), $9,794;
(13) Taxicabs (SIC 412, TCPU), $9,940;
(14) Miscellaneous personal services (SIC 729, Services), $9,971;
(15) Family clothing stores (SIC 565, Retail Trade), $10,149;
(16) Liquor stores (SIC 592, Retail Trade), $10,226;
(17) Retail nurseries & garden stores (SIC 526, Retail Trade), $10,700;
(18) Used merchandise stores (SIC 593, Retail Trade), $11,116;
(19) Animal services, except veterinary (SIC 075, Agriculture), $11,316;
(20) Horticultural specialties (SIC 018, Agriculture), $11,455.
In 1998 wages were not equally dispersed among employees. The 1998 twenty highest detailed industry average annual wages in Wyoming posted only 16,667 jobs (7.6%) that earned $945, 205,577 total wages (17.3%). Security and commodity brokers (SIC 62, FIRE) only had 388 workers in 1998! The opposite is true for the 1998 twenty lowest detailed industry average annual wages in Wyoming holding 21,741 jobs (9.9%) and earning $189,136,258 total wages (3.5%)! Eating & drinking places (SIC 581, Retail Trade) posted 16,700 jobs in 1998-more workers than the total of the twenty highest wages!
Geographically, once again, three Wyoming regions exceeded the 1998 Wyoming average annual wage of $24,745: Southwest Region with $27,140; Northeast Region $26,161; and Central Region with $24,821. The Southeast Region with $23,126 and Northwest Region with $22,072 fell below the statewide average annual wage of $24,745. Only five counties surpassed Wyoming's average annual wage: Sweetwater (Southwest Region) with $32,484; Campbell (Northeast Region) with $31,261; Nonclassified with $27,001; Converse (Central Region) with $25,226; Natrona (Central Region) with $25,133. Niobrara (Southeast Region) with $17,634; Hot Springs (Northwest Region) with $18,014; Johnson (Northeast Region) with $18,838; and Goshen (Southeast Region) with $18,991 were Wyoming's lowest average annual wage by county in 1998. All counties' and regions' encountered average annual wage increases over 1997-98, except Hot Springs (Northwest Region), Park (Northwest Region), Crook (Northeast Region), Weston (Northeast Region), Lincoln (Southwest Region), and Sublette (Southwest Region) counties.
Employment and wage growth in Wyoming is not distributed evenly industrially or geographically. Wyoming's total wages and employment does not seem to be affected by national economic activity. National economic indicators for 1998 have not been published but are due in early winter.
Regional, county, and industry changes can be found in the Trends: first quarter 1999, October 1999 issue; second quarter 1999, January 2000 issue; third quarter 1999, April 1999 issue; fourth quarter 1999, July 2000 issue; and first quarter 2000, October 2000 issue.
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