Wyoming Unemployment Rate Rises to 5.2% in March 2016

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate increased significantly from 5.0% in February to 5.2% in March. Wyoming’s unemployment rate was considerably higher than its March 2015 level of 3.9% (a statistically significant increase) and slightly higher than the current U.S. unemployment rate of 5.0%.

From February to March, unemployment rates rose in 11 counties, fell in ten counties, and were unchanged in two counties. The largest increases occurred in Sublette (up from 6.7% to 7.5%), Campbell (up from 6.4% to 7.1%), Teton (up from 3.0% to 3.5%), and Weston (up from 4.1% to 4.6%) counties. The largest decreases were seen in Johnson (down from 7.0% to 6.5%), and Hot Springs (down from 5.6% to 5.2%) counties.

From March 2015 to March 2016, unemployment rates rose in 21 counties, fell in one county, and were unchanged in one county. Large increases were found in Campbell (up from 3.8% to 7.1%), Natrona (up from 4.7% to 7.3%), and Converse (up from 3.7% to 6.2%) counties. Teton County’s unemployment rate fell from 3.6% to 3.5% and Albany County’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.2%.

Fremont County posted the highest unemployment rate in March (7.8%). It was followed by Sublette (7.5%) and Natrona (7.3%) counties. The lowest unemployment rates were found in Niobrara (3.2%), Albany (3.2%), and Teton (3.5%) counties.

Total nonfarm employment (measured by place of work) fell from 286,900 in March 2015 to 277,400 in March 2016, a decrease of 9,500 jobs (or –3.3%; a statistically significant decrease).

1Seasonal adjustment is 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.

2Due to the significant increase in unemployment, Research & Planning has posted supplemental tables online at http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/news.htm.



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May 2016, Vol. 53 No. 5