Down Slightly in December
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist
Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 3.5 percent in November to 3.3 percent in December and remained well below the U.S. rate of 5.4 percent. Wyoming’s labor force (the sum of employed and unemployed individuals) also decreased slightly from December 2003 (-1,252 individuals or -0.4%). Labor force decreases of this magnitude are not unusual in the state. Job growth continued at a moderate pace (5,200 jobs or 2.1%).
From November to December, Wyoming gained 100 jobs (0.0%). Seasonal job losses in Construction (-1,300 jobs or -6.4%) were offset by gains in Retail Trade (200 jobs or 0.7%) and Leisure & Hospitality (1,100 jobs or 3.9%).
Aided by relatively high energy prices, employment continued to grow in Wyoming. From December 2003, Wyoming added 5,200 jobs or 2.1 percent. Increased oil & gas drilling contributed to job gains in Natural Resources & Mining (1,900 jobs or 10.0%). Other growing industries included Wholesale Trade (500 jobs or 7.1%), Transportation & Utilities (300 jobs or 2.6%), Education & Health Services (500 jobs or 2.3%), Leisure & Hospitality (1,000 jobs or 3.6%), and Government (600 jobs or 0.9%).
Compared to December 2003, employment fell in Construction (-200 jobs or -1.0%), Manufacturing (-100 jobs or -1.0%), and Professional & Business Services (-200 jobs or -1.3%).
As expected, most county unemployment rates increased from November to December. Platte County posted the highest unemployment rate (5.7%), while Albany and Sublette counties tied for the lowest (1.7%). Teton County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.7 percent in November to 3.1 percent in December.
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