Covered Employment and Wages for Fourth Quarter 2001 (NAICS Version)
David Bullard, Senior Economist
tables by:
Nancy Brennan, Economist

Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered employment1 increased by 7,048 jobs or 3.0 percent during the fourth quarter of 2001 compared to fourth quarter 2000. Total payroll increased by 6.5 percent, slightly below the five-year average of 6.7 percent. Average weekly wage increased by $19 or 3.3 percent, below its five-year average of 4.5 percent.      

Statewide Employment and Wages by Industry

Table 7N shows that Mining, Construction, and Local Government created the largest number of jobs in fourth quarter. Mining added 2,580 jobs or 15.7 percent as a result of strong gains in oil & gas extraction, coal mining, and support activities for mining. Gas plant construction helped push employment in the Construction industry up by 1,832 jobs or 9.8 percent. Local Government grew by 1,158 jobs or 3.1 percent, but part of this employment increase is related to the reclassification of Indian Tribal Councils from private sector Public Administration to Local Government.2  Job gains in local hospitals (200 jobs) also helped increase Local Government employment during fourth quarter.

Wholesale Trade grew significantly during fourth quarter, adding 396 jobs or 6.1 percent. These job gains may be related to increased Mining and oil & gas activity in the State.

Manufacturing and Retail Trade both lost jobs when compared with fourth quarter 2000. Manufacturing employment decreased by 597 jobs or 5.5 percent because of job losses in food manufacturing, petroleum & coal products manufacturing, chemical manufacturing, and transportation equipment manufacturing.

Retail Trade employment fell by 949 jobs or –3.1 percent.  Large job losses occurred in food & beverage stores, gasoline stations, and general merchandise stores. However, employment grew in building material & garden equipment & supplies dealers.

Average weekly wage increased $19 or 3.3 percent. The largest increase in average weekly wage occurred in Finance & Insurance, a gain of $148 per week or 21.6 percent. Part of this increase was related to a bonus paid in fourth quarter in Teton County. Average weekly wage in Professional & Technical Services rose by $104 or 14.3 percent.

The average weekly wage in Mining decreased by $336 or 24.3 percent, in part because a large bonus paid in Natrona County in fourth quarter 2000 was not repeated in 2001.

Employment and Wages by County

As shown in Table 1, employment increased in 15 of Wyoming’s 23 counties during fourth quarter. Campbell County was the fastest growing area of the state, adding 1,773 jobs or 9.5 percent. About half of the job gains in Campbell County were in Mining (including oil & gas extraction). Employment in Transportation & Warehousing and Professional & Technical Services also grew rapidly.

Fremont County grew by 959 jobs or 6.8 percent during fourth quarter. A large part of this increase was Construction employment related to a new gas plant.

Job gains in Construction helped push up Uinta County employment by 554 jobs or 6.8 percent. Sweetwater County added 279 jobs or 1.5 percent during fourth quarter. Strong gains in Mining and Construction were partially offset by job losses in Manufacturing and Retail Trade.

Natrona County grew by 269 jobs or 0.8 percent as a result of job gains in Mining and Manufacturing. Employment fell in Retail Trade and Transportation & Warehousing.

Employment fell in Teton County by 270 jobs or 1.8 percent during fourth quarter 2001. Modest gains in Finance & Insurance and Administrative & Waste Services were not enough to offset job losses in Accommodation & Food Services.

Laramie County experienced a decrease in employment of 266 jobs or 0.7 percent during fourth quarter 2001. Employment in Retail Trade and Health Care & Social Assistance was lower than expected because two large statewide employers with worksites in Laramie County stopped reporting at the county level and now only submit statewide employment reports. Manufacturing and Transportation & Warehousing each fell by about 100 jobs. Significant job gains were seen in Construction, Finance & Insurance, and State Government.

Average weekly wage increased in all but two of Wyoming’s counties. Wages fell by $143 or 19.6 percent in Natrona County because a bonus paid in Mining in fourth quarter 2000 was not repeated in 2001. Big Horn County’s average weekly wage decreased by $4 or 0.7 percent as a bonus from fourth quarter 2000 was not repeated in 2001.

Teton County had the largest increase in average weekly wage, a gain of $122 or 21.1 percent. Part of this increase was related to bonuses paid in Manufacturing and Finance & Insurance.

1. Approximately 85-90 percent of all workers in Wyoming are covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI). Some exceptions include the self-employed and many agricultural workers.

2. This reclassification was necessitated by a change in Federal Unemployment Insurance law, which now treats Indian Tribal Councils similarly to state and local governments. Previously, Indian Tribal Councils were classified as privately owned membership organizations.

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