© Copyright 2019 by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Research & Planning

Wyoming Unemployment Falls to 3.9% in February

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 4.0% in January to 3.9% in February. Wyoming’s unemployment rate is down slightly from its February 2018 level of 4.0%, but is slightly higher than the current U.S. unemployment rate of 3.8%.

From January to February, most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and decreased. The largest decreases occurred in Lincoln County, where the unemployment rate fell from 4.7% to 3.5%; Hot Springs County, where the unemployment rate fell from 4.7% to 3.5%; and Johnson County, where the unemployment rate fell from 5.3% to 4.3%.

Almost all county unemployment rates fell from February 2018 to February 2019, suggesting a tightening in the state’s labor market. The largest decreases were seen in Platte County (down from 4.8% to 3.4%), Converse County (down from 4.1% to 2.9%), Fremont County (down from 6.2% to 5.1%), and Big Horn County (down from 5.8% to 4.7%). Goshen County’s unemployment rate rose modestly from 3.1% in February 2018 to 3.4% in February 2019.

Park County posted the highest unemployment rate in the state at 5.2% in February. It was followed by Fremont County at 5.1% and Big Horn County at 4.7%. The lowest rates were found in Teton County at 2.2%, Niobrara County at 2.3%, and Albany County at 2.7%

Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) increased from 276,400 in February 2018 to 281,800 in February 2019, a gain of 5,400 jobs (2.0%).

Research & Planning has scheduled the March employment news release for April 23, 2019.



Wyoming Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Labor Force Estimates
                                                                                            Change
                                                                                   Month                    Year
                                 February-19   January-19  February-18      absolute    percent    absolute    percent
Total Civilian Labor Force          289,716      289,470      290,158         246        0.1%        -442       -0.2%
Employed                            278,534      277,823      278,625         711        0.3%         -91        0.0%
Unemployed                           11,182       11,647       11,533        -465       -4.0%        -351       -3.0%
Unemployment Rate                       3.9          4.0          4.0


Definitions:
Employed All persons who, during the reference week, did any work at all as paid employees, worked in their own business, profession, or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in a family business.
Unemployed All persons who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week.
Labor Force All persons who meet the criteria given above as either employed or unemployed.
Unemployment Rate The number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.
Seasonal Adjustment 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 to better understand changes in economic conditions from month to month.



Note Regarding Tables 1-3 Below

Not seasonally adjusted data reflect the actual economic conditions in a given area for a given time period. These data show the normal seasonal changes that occur in the economy. Most county unemployment rates are higher in the winter months because of seasonal job losses in construction, leisure & hospitality, and many other sectors. Similarly, most county unemployment rates are lower in the summer months as employment increases across the economy. Data users should use caution when comparing not seasonally adjusted data for different months, as at least part of the difference between months may reflect normal seasonal patterns.

In contrast, seasonally adjusted data have been subjected to a statistical procedure to remove the effects of normal changes that occur in the economy each year, such as seasonal hiring in the construction sector, the opening and closing of schools, and holiday hiring by retail trade establishments. There is no expectation that seasonally adjusted unemployment rates will be higher or lower in any particular month, except as the economy expands or contracts. The value of seasonally adjusted data is that it is easy to identify longer-term trends in the data and valid comparisons can be made between any two months in the series.

Research & Planning works in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to develop and publish unemployment rates for each county in Wyoming. However, these data are not seasonally adjusted and therefore reflect seasonal changes each month.


Table 1: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment
rates ranked from lowest to highest for February 2019
 
    County			      Rate*
Teton County, WY                       2.2
Niobrara County, WY                    2.3
Albany County, WY                      2.7
Converse County, WY                    2.9
Crook County, WY                       3.1
Weston County, WY                      3.3
Goshen County, WY                      3.4
Laramie County, WY                     3.4
Platte County, WY                      3.4
Hot Springs County, WY                 3.5
Lincoln County, WY                     3.5
Campbell County, WY                    3.6
Wyoming                                3.8
Carbon County, WY                      4.0
Natrona County, WY                     4.2
Sheridan County, WY                    4.2
Uinta County, WY                       4.2
Johnson County, WY                     4.3
Sweetwater County, WY                  4.3
Washakie County, WY                    4.4
Sublette County, WY                    4.6
Big Horn County, WY                    4.7
Fremont County, WY                     5.1
Park County, WY                        5.2

*preliminary


Table 2: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates over-the-month rate
changes ranked from lowest to highest for February 2019

                                     Month ago                   Over-the-Month   
    County                             rate           Rate*        Rate Change    
Hot Springs County, WY                  4.7            3.5           -1.2
Lincoln County, WY                      4.7            3.5           -1.2
Johnson County, WY                      5.3            4.3           -1.0
Big Horn County, WY                     5.6            4.7           -0.9
Laramie County, WY                      4.3            3.4           -0.9
Albany County, WY                       3.5            2.7           -0.8
Fremont County, WY                      5.9            5.1           -0.8
Platte County, WY                       4.2            3.4           -0.8
Teton County, WY                        3.0            2.2           -0.8
Crook County, WY                        3.8            3.1           -0.7
Niobrara County, WY                     3.0            2.3           -0.7
Sheridan County, WY                     4.9            4.2           -0.7
Wyoming                                 4.5            3.8           -0.7
Carbon County, WY                       4.6            4.0           -0.6
Washakie County, WY                     5.0            4.4           -0.6
Converse County, WY                     3.4            2.9           -0.5
Natrona County, WY                      4.7            4.2           -0.5
Park County, WY                         5.7            5.2           -0.5
Sweetwater County, WY                   4.8            4.3           -0.5
Campbell County, WY                     4.0            3.6           -0.4
Sublette County, WY                     5.0            4.6           -0.4
Uinta County, WY                        4.6            4.2           -0.4
Weston County, WY                       3.7            3.3           -0.4
Goshen County, WY                       3.4            3.4            0.0

*preliminary



Table 3: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates over-the-year percent
changes ranked from lowest to highest for February 2019
 
                                       Year ago                    Over-the-Year   
   County                                Rate           Rate*       Rate Change    
Platte County, WY                         4.8            3.4           -1.4
Converse County, WY                       4.1            2.9           -1.2
Big Horn County, WY                       5.8            4.7           -1.1
Fremont County, WY                        6.2            5.1           -1.1
Natrona County, WY                        5.2            4.2           -1.0
Sheridan County, WY                       5.2            4.2           -1.0
Campbell County, WY                       4.5            3.6           -0.9
Johnson County, WY                        5.2            4.3           -0.9
Washakie County, WY                       5.3            4.4           -0.9
Crook County, WY                          3.9            3.1           -0.8
Laramie County, WY                        4.2            3.4           -0.8
Hot Springs County, WY                    4.2            3.5           -0.7
Lincoln County, WY                        4.2            3.5           -0.7
Weston County, WY                         4.0            3.3           -0.7
Wyoming                                   4.5            3.8           -0.7
Uinta County, WY                          4.8            4.2           -0.6
Niobrara County, WY                       2.8            2.3           -0.5
Carbon County, WY                         4.4            4.0           -0.4
Park County, WY                           5.6            5.2           -0.4
Teton County, WY                          2.5            2.2           -0.3
Albany County, WY                         2.9            2.7           -0.2
Sweetwater County, WY                     4.5            4.3           -0.2
Sublette County, WY                       4.7            4.6           -0.1
Goshen County, WY                         3.1            3.4            0.3

*preliminary



Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
Research & Planning

April 2, 2019

Contacts:

David Bullard, Senior Economist, 307-473-3810


Carola Cowan, BLS Programs Supervisor, 307-473-3804



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