© Copyright 2003 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Covered Employment and Wages for Second Quarter 2003

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

tables by: Nancy Brennan, Economist

Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered employment increased by 1,488 jobs or 0.6 percent during second quarter 2003 compared to second quarter 2002. Second quarter’s employment increase is significantly lower than the five-year average growth of 1.7 percent marking a slowdown in job growth in Wyoming (see Table 1). Job losses occurred primarily in Construction, Manufacturing, and Other Services. This overall slowdown in job growth has been seen for several months. Total payroll increased by 3.4 percent, well below the five-year average of 5.7 percent. Average weekly wage increased by $15 or 2.8 percent, also below its five-year average (3.8%).

Table 2 shows that after slowing for several quarters, the growth rate of employment and total wages rebounded slightly in second quarter 2003. The Figure shows that payroll growth stood at 6.5 percent in first quarter 2002, fell to 2.4 percent in third quarter, and increased to 3.4 percent in second quarter 2003.

Employment and Wages by Industry

Each year approximately one-third of the employers covered by UI in Wyoming are contacted by mail questionnaire to confirm that they have been assigned to the correct industry category (e.g., Mining, Construction, Manufacturing) based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) (U.S. Census Bureau, 2002). If it is found that an employer has changed primary business activity, a new NAICS code is assigned to reflect that change. Research staff also review employers’ NAICS codes if the business is sold, becomes incorporated, or otherwise changes ownership. In this manner, R&P continuously ensures that employers are assigned to the correct industry category. However, such changes also make it difficult for data users to directly compare across years, especially when large employers are reclassified from one industry to another.

Table 3 shows that Health Care & Social Assistance, Local Government, Transportation & Warehousing, Accommodation & Food Services, and State Government created the most jobs in second quarter.

Health Care & Social Assistance added 631 jobs or 3.5 percent as a result of strong job gains in ambulatory health care services (the industry which includes doctors’ offices and clinics) and social assistance. Employment in private hospitals fell slightly during second quarter, while employment in nursing and residential care facilities was essentially unchanged.

Local Government grew by 589 jobs or 1.5 percent. Employment growth included gains in publicly owned hospitals, educational services (e.g., school districts and community colleges), and public administration (e.g., local offices of cities, towns, and counties). The employment increases in public hospitals is consistent with the long-term growth also seen in Health Care & Social Assistance.

Transportation & Warehousing added 385 jobs (5.9%) during second quarter. Storage and warehousing employment grew dramatically, while jobs were also gained in support activities for transportation.

Accommodation & Food Services gained 355 jobs or 1.3 percent during second quarter. Accommodation (including hotels) added 300 jobs, while food services and drinking places grew only slightly. A large part of the job gains in accommodation was located in Teton County.

State Government added 329 jobs or 2.7 percent, including about 100 jobs in educational services. The remainder of new jobs was spread across several different state agencies.

Mining added 259 jobs or 1.5 percent during second quarter. Within Mining, oil & gas extraction fell slightly and mining except oil & gas lost almost 200 jobs. Support activities for mining, however, added 500 jobs, mostly in drilling oil & gas wells and support activities for oil & gas operations. Second quarter’s increase in Mining employment is notable because employment had fallen steadily in this industry during the four previous quarters.

Employment in Construction fell by 877 jobs or 4.3 percent during second quarter. Part of this decrease may be related to the completion of a gas plant project in 2002.

Manufacturing employment decreased by 242 jobs or 2.6 percent because of job losses in many subindustries, especially wood product manufacturing and chemical manufacturing.

Employment and Wages by County

As shown in Table 4, employment increased in 14 of Wyoming’s 23 counties during second quarter. In an effort to increase data quality, the Covered Employment and Wages unit has continued to contact many employers with “nonclassified” geographic codes in order to place them within counties. This has resulted in a significant decrease in employment in the “nonclassified” geographic designation and corresponding increases in many counties throughout the state. While the long-run result will be higher-quality data, initially some of the employment increases at the county level may simply be interpreted as more accurate reporting, rather than actual increases in the number of jobs within the counties.

Pushed up by strong gains in Mining, Construction, and Health Care & Social Assistance, Sweetwater County added 956 jobs or 5.2 percent. Employment fell in Manufacturing, but grew in many other industries.

Lincoln County added 733 jobs or 13.7 percent during second quarter. Employment increased in Mining, Construction, Accommodation & Food Services, and Local Government.

Employment fell by 443 jobs or 2.1 percent in Campbell County. Job losses were seen in many industries, especially Mining, Construction, Retail Trade, and Accommodation & Food Services. Job gains occurred in Local Government and Wholesale Trade. Part of the decrease in Mining was the result of a change in county code.

In Uinta County, employment fell by 333 jobs or 3.8 percent. Job losses were seen across many industries, most notably Retail Trade, Construction, Accommodation & Food Services, and Mining.

Fremont County lost 323 jobs or 2.2 percent during second quarter. A large part of the overall decrease was related to the completion of a gas plant construction project. Large job gains were seen in Health Care & Social Assistance, Mining, and Local Government.

Employment grew by 861 jobs or 2.6 percent in Natrona County (see Table 5). Notable job gains occurred in Mining (341 jobs or 17.8%), Construction (107 jobs or 4.7%), Administrative & Waste Services (150 jobs or 8.3%), and Accommodation & Food Services (237 jobs or 8.8%). Job losses were seen in Wholesale Trade (-134 jobs or -5.9%), Information (-45 jobs or -8.3%), and Real Estate & Rental & Leasing (-141 jobs or -14.9%). Wholesale Trade was affected as a number of companies were reclassified into other industries.

Total payroll grew by 6.3 percent in Natrona County, almost double the statewide increase (3.4%). Double-digit payroll increases were seen in many industries, including Agriculture (13.9%), Mining (13.9%), Utilities (13.2%), Construction (10.9%), Administrative & Waste Services (23.5%), Educational Services (24.8%), and Federal Government (13.5%). Natrona County’s average weekly wage increased by $20 or 3.6 percent during second quarter.

Laramie County added 1,036 jobs or 2.7 percent during second quarter (see Table 6). Strong job growth was seen in Construction (83 jobs or 3.2%), Transportation & Warehousing (228 jobs or 20.2%), Information (88 jobs or 9.0%), Finance & Insurance (80 jobs or 5.5%), Health Care & Social Assistance (325 jobs or 12.6%), Federal Government (166 jobs or 6.9%), State Government (114 jobs or 3.1%), and Local Government (101 jobs or 1.8%). Employment fell slightly in Mining (-47 jobs or -57.3%), Manufacturing (-36 jobs or -2.4%), and Administrative & Waste Services (-69 jobs or -3.4%). The employment decline in Management of Companies & Enterprises (114 jobs or 43.1%) was primarily the result of the reclassification of a firm from that industry to Health Care & Social Assistance.

Growth in total payroll in Laramie County (6.4%) was very similar to Natrona County (6.3%). Average weekly wage increased by $19 or 3.6 percent in second quarter. The large increase in average weekly wage in Management of Companies & Enterprises ($342 or 60.2%) appears related to bonuses at a single firm, rather than a general increase in the wage level.


U.S. Census Bureau. (2002, September 10). 2002 NAICS codes and titles. Retrieved December 18, 2003, from http://www.census.gov/epcd/naics02/naicod02.htm


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