Wyoming Unemployment Rate Unchanged
at 5.8% in September 2011

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has reported that in September the state's seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate was unchanged from August at 5.8%. Wyoming's jobless rate appears to have stabilized, remaining in the narrow range of 5.7% to 5.9% in each of the past four months. September's unemployment rate decreased considerably from its year-ago level of 6.7% and was significantly lower than the current U.S. rate of 9.1%. Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents increased by an estimated 672 individuals (0.2%) from August to September.

Lincoln County reported the highest unemployment rate (6.3%) in September. It was followed by Laramie County (6.0%) and Big Horn, Fremont, and Sheridan counties (all 5.9%). The lowest unemployment rates were found in Sublette (2.9%), Albany (3.8%), and Campbell (4.0%) counties. Sublette County, an area of energy development, has had the state's lowest unemployment rate for 16 consecutive months.

From August to September, unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and decreased in most counties. The largest decreases were seen in Platte (down from 6.0% to 4.8%), Big Horn (down from 6.9% to 5.9%), and Albany (down from 4.8% to 3.8%) counties.

Unemployment rates fell in every county from September 2010 to September 2011, suggesting improvement in the state's labor market. Some of the largest decreases in unemployment occurred in the central and southern parts of the state. Carbon County's jobless rate fell from 6.9% to 5.3%, Platte County's rate fell from 6.3% to 4.8%, Sweetwater County's rate fell from 5.8% to 4.4%, and Natrona County's rate fell from 6.7% to 5.3%.

Total nonfarm employment (measured by place of work) rose from 290,900 in September 2010 to 299,500 in September 2011, an increase of 8,600 jobs (3.0%). Despite this significant increase, employment was still much lower than its September 2008 level of 306,400.

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.



Unemployment Rate by Wyoming County, September 2011
(Not Seasonally Adjusted)


Last modified by Phil Ellsworth.