© Copyright 2005 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 42 No. 1    


Covered Employment and Wages for Second Quarter 2004: Employment Growth Remains Healthy

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist


Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered employment increased by 7,290 jobs or 3.0 percent during second quarter 2004 compared to second quarter 2003. Second quarter’s employment increase is well above the five-year average growth rate of 2.0 percent (see Table 1). Total payroll increased by $128.2 million or 7.2 percent, slightly higher than its five-year average (6.2%). Average weekly wage increased by $23 or 4.1 percent, matching its five-year average (4.1%). Additionally, employment increased in every region during second quarter. 

Table 2 shows that employment and payroll growth during second quarter 2004 was practically the same as first quarter 2004. After increasing for several quarters, payroll growth appears to have leveled off at 7.2 percent (see Figure). Employment growth also seems to have stabilized during second quarter.

Statewide Employment and Wages by Industry

The purpose of this article is to show employment and payroll changes between second quarter 2003 and second quarter 2004. These economic changes help us gauge the strength of Wyoming’s economy and identify the fastest and slowest growing industries and geographic areas.

The largest job gains occurred in State Government; Mining; Accommodation & Food Services; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Transportation & Warehousing (see Table 3).

State government employment increased by 1,735 jobs or 13.7 percent. However, a large part of this gain (1,500 jobs) was the result of a new payroll system in a unit of state government. This new payroll system was also responsible for $2 million of the increase in state government payroll. 

Mining added 1,680 jobs or 9.4 percent during second quarter. The vast majority of job gains in Mining were found in support activities for mining. These employment increases are likely related to natural gas drilling activity around the state.

Accommodation & Food Services grew by 599 jobs or 2.1 percent. About three-quarters of the growth was in accommodation.

Employment in Health Care & Social Assistance increased by 590 jobs or 3.2 percent. This industry was also affected by noneconomic code changes (see box accompanying this article, page 19). In particular, a large employer had its code changed from administrative & support services (NAICS 561) to social assistance (NAICS 624). Another large employer changed from private ownership to local government (and thus moved from Health Care & Social Assistance to Local Government on Table 3).

Transportation & Warehousing created 474 jobs (6.9%) during second quarter. Large gains were seen in truck transportation and warehousing & storage.

Although Table 3 shows that employment decreased by 705 jobs (or 8.9%) in Administrative & Waste Services, this was mostly due to various large employers’ code changes from administrative & support services (NAICS 561) to various subsectors (including Health Care & Social Assistance).

Employment in Management of Companies & Enterprises was affected by noneconomic code changes of 166 employees from Mining and Construction.

Local Government employment grew by 283 jobs or 0.7 percent in second quarter. Part of this increase was due to an ownership change of a nursing & residential care facility (NAICS 623) from private ownership to local government control.

Statewide total payroll increased by $128.2 million or 7.2 percent. As in previous quarters, Mining was by far the largest contributor to this gain, increasing by $33.4 million or 13.6 percent. Other large contributors included Health Care & Social Assistance ($9.7 million or 7.1%), Local Government ($9.5 million or 3.2%), and Wholesale Trade ($9.0 million or 13.6%). 

Total payroll in Management of Companies & Enterprises increased by $5.8 million or 91.5 percent during second quarter. This included over $1 million paid to one CEO.

Employment and Wages by County

As shown in Table 4, employment increased in every region during second quarter. 

Campbell County gained 1,033 jobs or 5.0 percent during second quarter. Substantial job growth was seen in Mining (including oil & gas), Construction, Wholesale Trade, and Other Services.

Sweetwater County continued to grow in second quarter, adding 902 jobs or 4.6 percent. Among the faster growing industries were Mining (including oil & gas), Construction, Retail Trade, and Accommodation & Food Services.

Sublette County gained 342 jobs or 12.5 percent. Notable job growth occurred in Mining (including oil & gas), Construction, and Accommodations & Food Services.

Natrona County continued to grow, adding 1,416 jobs or 4.2 percent during second quarter (see Table 5). Similar to the situation at the statewide level, the largest job gains occurred in Mining (including oil & gas). Some of the 492 jobs gained in Mining were the result of a large employer (previously classified as “statewide”) providing a more detailed breakout. Construction was also affected by a large employer breaking out employment at the county level.

Management of Companies & Enterprises grew by 47 jobs (352.5%) due to a new breakout of large company from heavy & civil engineering construction (NAICS 237) in Lincoln County to management of companies & enterprises (NAICS 551) in Natrona County.

Employment fell in two industries in Natrona County. Administrative & Waste Services lost 245 jobs or 12.5 percent, mostly as the result of several employer reclassifications and breakouts from administrative & support services (NAICS 561) to other subsectors and counties. State Government employment fell slightly, losing 5 jobs or 0.7 percent.

Laramie County grew by 721 jobs or 1.8 percent (see Table 6). Transportation & Warehousing added 291 jobs or 21.5 percent. Other notable increases were seen in Accommodation & Food Services (176 jobs or 4.4%), Health Care & Social Assistance (136 jobs or 4.7%), and Manufacturing (114 jobs or 7.7%).

In contrast to Natrona County and the state as a whole, several industries lost jobs in Laramie County. Administrative & Waste Services employment fell by 228 jobs or 11.4 percent. Some other industries with decreasing employment included Construction (-42 jobs or -1.6%), Information (-27 jobs or -2.5%), and State Government (-24 jobs or -0.6%).

In summary, Wyoming’s economy grew at a healthy pace during second quarter. The Mining industry (including oil & gas) experienced the strongest employment growth, but some growth was seen in almost every industry and every region of the state.

Table of Contents | Labor Market Information | Wyoming Job Network | Send Us Mail

These pages designed by Julie Barnish.
Last modified on by Valerie A. Davis.