© Copyright 2007 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning
Vol. 44 No. 1
From second quarter 2005 to second quarter 2006, total Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered payroll grew by $318.9 million or 15.4%, much faster than its five-year average (7.8%, see Table 1). Forty-seven percent of the growth in total payroll ($151.4 million) came from just two sectors — Mining and Construction. Wyoming’s average weekly wage increased by $63 or 10.1%, well above its five-year average (5.4%). Total employment rose by 12,252 jobs or 4.8%, more than double its five-year average (2.3%). Many sectors in Natrona County and Laramie County had double-digit growth in average weekly wage.
The covered payroll and employment data in this article are measured by place of work, while labor force estimates (see page 29) are measured by employed and unemployed persons by place of residence. The Figure shows that employment growth accelerated from 0.1% in first quarter 2003 to 5.0% in first quarter 2006, then decreased slightly to 4.8% in second quarter 2006. Growth in total wages increased from 2.4% in fourth quarter 2002 to 11.7% in third quarter 2005, decreased slightly to 10.1% in fourth quarter 2005, then rose again to 15.4% in second quarter 2006 (see Table 2).
Statewide Employment and Wages by Industry
The purpose of this article is to show employment and payroll changes between second quarter 2005 and second quarter 2006. 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 Mining, Construction, Other Services, Transportation & Warehousing, and Professional & Technical Services (see Table 3).
Mining added 4,014 jobs or 18.1% in second quarter. Total payroll increased by $97.6 million or 29.5% and average weekly wage increased by $111 or 9.7%. Job growth occurred in most subsectors, including oil & gas extraction (over 400 jobs), mining (except oil & gas—over 1,000 jobs), and support activities for mining (over 2,500 jobs). Coal mining employment has grown dramatically during the past year and accounts for a large part of the growth in the mining (except oil & gas) sector.
Construction employment increased by 3,336 jobs or 16.0%. Construction of buildings added over 500 jobs, heavy & civil engineering construction added about 1,200 jobs, and specialty trade contractors added almost 1,600 jobs. A large part of the growth in heavy & civil engineering construction is related to the construction or maintenance of oil & gas pipelines and refineries. Total payroll in Construction increased by $53.8 million or 30.9% and average weekly wage increased by $82 or 12.8%.
Other Services added 708 jobs or 9.4% and total payroll increased by $12.3 million or 28.8%. Within Other Services, the fastest growth was found in repair & maintenance services (up almost 600 jobs).
Transportation & Warehousing gained 681 jobs or 8.9% in second quarter. Strong growth appeared in truck transportation (over 200 jobs), pipeline transportation (over 100 jobs), and warehousing & storage (almost 200 jobs). Total payroll increased by $12.7 million or 19.3%.
Employment in Professional & Technical Services increased by 603 jobs or 7.3%. Its total payroll grew by $12.2 million or 15.6%. Notable job growth occurred in architectural & engineering services (over 200 jobs), management & technical consulting services (over 150 jobs), and other professional & technical services (almost 150 jobs).
Health Care & Social Assistance gained 333 jobs or 1.7%. The largest part of the growth was found in ambulatory health care services (up 228 jobs or 3.1%). Employment in private hospitals was flat (-4 jobs or -0.1%), while nursing & residential care facilities (63 jobs or 1.4%) and social assistance (45 jobs or 0.9%) both grew modestly. The average weekly wage in private hospitals was one of the slowest growing in the state, increasing by only $10 or 1.4%.
Employment fell slightly in Federal Government, Information, State Government, and Agriculture. However, total payroll increased in each of these sectors.
Federal Government lost 239 jobs or 3.2% in second quarter and total payroll increased by less than one percent ($845,419 or 0.9%). Employment decreased modestly at many federal agencies.
Information employment decreased by 175 jobs or 4.0% and total payroll increased by $2.6 million or 8.2%. Almost 100 jobs were lost in ISPs, search portals, & data processing while employment also fell in publishing industries.
State Government decreased by 170 jobs or 1.3% in second quarter but total payroll increased by $6.2 million or 5.1%. Employment fell slightly at many different state agencies.
Agriculture employment fell by 16 jobs or 0.7%. Employment decreased slightly in crop production, forestry & logging, and support activities for agriculture & forestry, while increasing in animal production and fishing, hunting & trapping.
The increase in average weekly wage in Management of Companies & Enterprises ($601 or 42.9%) was mostly related to a large bonus paid by a firm in Teton County.
Employment and Wages by County
In second quarter, job growth occurred in 20 of Wyoming’s 23 counties (see Table 4) suggesting that the current economic expansion is affecting most areas of the state.
The largest growth in total payroll ($71.6 million or 31.1%) and jobs (2,671 jobs or 11.6%) occurred in Campbell County. Mining (especially coal mining and oil & gas) gained over 1,100 jobs, while Construction gained over 500 jobs, and Retail Trade, Professional & Technical Services, Accommodation & Food Services, and Other Services each gained over 100 jobs.
Sweetwater County had the second largest job growth (2,124 jobs or 9.6%) and the third largest growth in total payroll ($43.8 million or 18.9%). As in Campbell County, Mining (including oil & gas) created the largest number of new jobs (almost 700 jobs). Construction (over 400), Other Services (almost 350), Wholesale Trade (about 150), and Transportation & Warehousing (over 100) all grew rapidly.
Table 5 shows that Natrona County added 2,044 jobs or 5.6%. Its total payroll grew by $51.8 million or 16.6% and average weekly wage grew by $68 or 10.4%. As at the statewide level, the largest job gains were in Mining (732 jobs or 20.9%) and Construction (217 jobs or 8.7%). Other Services (205 jobs or 15.3%), Manufacturing (165 jobs or 9.4%), and Administrative & Waste Services (157 jobs or 10.5%) also grew rapidly. Employment in Health Care & Social Assistance increased by 110 jobs or 2.4% and the largest part of that growth came from social assistance (49 jobs or 5.9%). Average weekly wage increased by more than 10% in Agriculture ($41 or 12.0%), Mining ($136 or 12.4%), Construction ($71 or 10.8%), Wholesale Trade ($131 or 15.4%), Finance & Insurance ($90 or 11.7%), and Local Government ($90 or 12.0%). The large increase in average weekly wage in Wholesale Trade was partially due to bonuses paid by a firm in that sector.
Laramie County’s total payroll increased by $36.8 million or 11.7% and average weekly wage increased by $49 or 8.3% (see Table 6). Employment grew by 1,278 jobs or 3.1%. By far, Construction added the most jobs (709 jobs or 26.3%). It was followed by Transportation & Warehousing (183 jobs or 11.0%) and Administrative & Waste Services (144 jobs or 9.8%). Modest job losses occurred in a number of sectors including Federal Government (-87 jobs or -3.4%), Accommodation & Food Services (-30 jobs or -0.7%), and Real Estate & Rental & Leasing (-19 jobs or -3.7%). Health Care & Social Assistance gained 36 jobs or 1.1% and total payroll increased by $1.3 million or 4.6%. The decrease in average weekly wage in Mining (-$403 or -31.8%) was due to a bonus paid in second quarter 2005 and not repeated in 2006. Average weekly wage increased by double digits in Construction ($108 or 18.5%), Information ($116 or 17.1%), Management of Companies & Enterprises ($245 or 29.7%), Private Educational Services ($64 or 17.1%), Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation ($27 or 11.6%), and Local Government ($87 or 14.2%). The large increase in average weekly wage in Management of Companies & Enterprises was related to a large bonus paid by a single firm.
Employment fell slightly in three counties during second quarter (Albany, Niobrara & Weston).
Employment in Albany County decreased by 73 jobs or -0.5%, but total payroll increased by $4.5 million or 4.0%. Employment fell in Retail Trade, Information, Federal Government, and Administrative & Waste Services, but rose in Construction and Manufacturing.
Niobrara County’s employment fell by 26 jobs or 3.3%, but total payroll grew by $276,943 or 6.0%. Minor job losses were seen in State Government, Retail Trade, Real Estate & Rental & Leasing, Health Care & Social Assistance, and Accommodation & Food Services.
Weston County’s total payroll increased by $1.1 million or 7.6%, but employment fell by 30 jobs (-1.3%). Job losses in Accommodation & Food Services were partially offset by gains in Construction, Manufacturing, and Finance & Insurance.
Wyoming’s economy continued to expand in second quarter. Employment and total payroll both increased much faster than their five-year average rates. Mining (including oil & gas) and Construction made the largest contributions to the number of new jobs and the increase in total payroll.