3,300 New Jobs Created in
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist
Wyoming job growth continued to trend upward in December (1.3%) as 3,300 new jobs were created while U.S. nonfarm employment was essentially unchanged from a year earlier (-62,000 jobs or 0.0%). Job gains in Natural Resources & Mining (including oil & gas) appear responsible for a large part of Wyoming’s job growth. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was stable at 4.0 percent and remained well below the U.S. rate of 5.7 percent.
From November to December, the level of nonfarm employment was virtually unchanged (-100 jobs or 0.0%). Job losses in Construction (-800 jobs or -4.0%) and Transportation & Utilities (-300 jobs or -2.6%) were mostly offset by gains in Retail Trade (200 jobs or 0.7%) and Leisure & Hospitality (700 jobs or 2.6%).
From December 2002, nonfarm employment increased by 3,300 jobs or 1.3 percent. This level of over-the-year growth is the highest seen since May 2002. Natural Resources & Mining added 600 jobs or 3.4 percent. After falling for over two years, the number of Manufacturing jobs appears to have stabilized with employment unchanged from its level a year ago. Substantial job gains occurred in Transportation & Utilities (400 jobs or 3.6%), Educational & Health Services (500 jobs or 2.5%), and Government (1,300 jobs or 2.0%). Job losses continued in Construction (-500 jobs or -2.5%).
Across Wyoming’s 23 counties, most unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal patterns and increased from November to December. The largest increases were seen in Lincoln County (up from 4.7% in November to 5.8% in December), Big Horn County (up from 3.4% to 4.4%), and Fremont County (up from 5.3% to 6.3%). The two counties where unemployment decreased were Teton County (down from 5.6% in November to 3.4% in December) and Niobrara County (down from 3.9% to 3.7%).
From December 2002, unemployment rates in most counties followed the statewide trend and decreased slightly. The largest over-the-year decrease occurred in Niobrara County where unemployment fell from 6.2 percent in December 2002 to 3.7 percent in December 2003.Bolstered by employment gains in Natural Resources & Mining, Wyoming job growth continued at a modest pace in November. Compared to a year earlier, the state added 2,500 jobs or 1.0 percent. In contrast, U.S. employment fell by 230,000 jobs or 0.2 percent.* Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.9 percent in October to 4.0 percent in November, but remained well below the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.9 percent.
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