Wyoming Job Growth Up Slightly
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist
Wyoming job growth (measured on an over-the-year basis) increased slightly
from 0.2 percent in October 2002 to 0.5 percent in November 2002. This
translates into a net gain of 1,200 jobs when compared to November 2001.
Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 3.9 percent in
October to 4.2 percent in November (not a statistically significant increase).
U.S. unemployment increased to 6.0 percent in November, and the U.S. continued
to lose jobs (-0.1%) in over-the-year comparisons.
From October to November, Wyoming employment fell by 4,700 jobs or 1.9 percent. However, a decrease of this magnitude is consistent with seasonal patterns, and by itself does not signal a slowdown in the state’s economy. Mining (-600 jobs or -3.0%) and Construction (-1,300 jobs or -6.5%) both shed jobs as colder weather set in. Employment also fell in Retail Trade (-900 jobs or -1.9%) and Services (-1,900 jobs or -3.3%) as tourist activity slowed.
When compared to November 2001, Wyoming employment grew by 1,200 jobs or 0.5 percent. Construction posted especially strong gains, growing by 1,100 jobs or 6.3 percent. Services (900 jobs or 1.6%) and Government (900 jobs or 1.4%) also grew significantly. Over-the-year job losses occurred in three main areas: Mining (-900 jobs or -4.5%), Manufacturing (-500 jobs or -4.3%), and Retail Trade (-200 or 0.4%). Within Mining, oil & gas extraction fell by 1,100 jobs or 8.9 percent, while coal mining increased by 200 jobs or 4.0 percent.
As expected, unemployment increased from October to November in almost all Wyoming counties. Lincoln and Fremont counties posted the highest unemployment rates (both 6.0%), while Albany County had the lowest rate (1.5%). When compared to November 2001, unemployment rates were mixed. Rates increased in 12 counties, fell in 10, and were unchanged in one county. Converse, Niobrara, Fremont, and Platte counties all experienced significant increases in unemployment, with rates rising by at least one percentage point from November 2001.
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