by: David Bullard, Senior Economist
The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate held steady from September to October at 4.7%. Wyoming’s unemployment rate was up slightly from its October 2013 level of 4.5%, but significantly lower than the current U.S. unemployment rate of 5.8%. Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents increased slightly, rising by an estimated 394 individuals (0.1%) from September to October.
Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased slightly from September to October. With the onset of cooler weather and the end of the summer tourist season, employment tends to decrease in October in many sectors, including construction, retail trade, and leisure & hospitality. The largest unemployment rate increases occurred in Teton (up from 3.2% to 5.2%), Lincoln (up from 4.5% to 5.2%), and Park (up from 3.9% to 4.5%) counties.
From October 2013 to October 2014, unemployment rates fell in 13 counties, rose slightly in eight counties, and were unchanged in two counties. The largest decreases occurred in Johnson (down from 5.1% to 4.5%), Fremont (down from 5.5% to 5.1%), and Washakie (down from 4.4% to 4.1%) counties. Unemployment increased in Albany (up from 3.5% to 3.8%), Uinta (up from 4.2% to 4.5%), and Weston (up from 3.8% to 4.1%) counties.
Teton and Lincoln counties had the highest unemployment rates in October (both 5.2%). They were followed by Fremont (5.1%) and Big Horn (4.8%) counties. The lowest unemployment rates were found in Converse (3.0%), Campbell (3.1%), Sublette (3.2%), and Niobrara (3.2%) counties.
Total nonfarm employment (measured by place of work) rose from 294,700 in October 2013 to 299,400 in October 2014, a gain of 4,700 jobs (1.6%).
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.