© Copyright 2006 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 43 No. 2

Covered Employment and Wages for Third Quarter 2005: Double-Digit Growth in Total Payroll

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist
tables by: Nancy Brennan, Economist

In third quarter 2005, total Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered payroll grew by $227 million or 11.6%, much higher than its five-year average (7.3%, see Table 1). The average weekly wage increased by $48 or 8.1%, also above its five-year average (5.1%). Employment also rose at a faster-than-average rate (3.2% in third quarter compared to the five-year average growth rate of 2.1%).

The Figure shows that growth in total wages increased from 6.5% in fourth quarter 2004 to 11.6% in third quarter 2005. Employment growth has accelerated from 0.1% in first quarter 2003 to 3.2% in third quarter 2005 (see Table 2).

Statewide Employment and Wages by Industry

The purpose of this article is to show employment and payroll changes between third quarter 2004 and third quarter 2005. 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, Local Government, Accommodation & Food Services, and Professional & Technical Services (see Table 3).

Mining (including oil & gas) added 2,413 jobs or 11.6%. It appears that high energy prices and increased drilling for natural gas are driving the growth in Wyoming’s Mining industry. Job gains were reported in all three subindustries: oil & gas extraction added almost 400 jobs, mining (except oil & gas) added about 300 jobs, and support activities for mining added 1,700 jobs.

Employment in Wyoming’s Construction industry grew by 1,783 jobs or 8.5%. All three subindustries added jobs, but the largest gains were in heavy & civil engineering construction.

Local Government added 889 jobs or 2.6% during third quarter. Employment increased in Educational Services (including public school districts), Health Care & Social Assistance (including public hospitals), and Public Administration (including cities, towns, & counties).

In third quarter, Accommodation & Food Services grew by 576 jobs or 1.8%. Employment increased by about 200 jobs in full-service restaurants, while it decreased in limited-service restaurants. Employment in Professional & Technical Services increased by 407 jobs or 5.2%. The largest gains were in architectural, engineering, & related services, computer systems design & related services, and management, scientific, & technical consulting services.

Employment in ambulatory health care services, the sector which includes doctor’s offices, was essentially unchanged in the third quarter (-5 jobs or -0.1%). Private hospitals added 138 jobs (5.1%) and nursing & residential care facilities gained 92 jobs (2.1%).

Modest job losses occurred in Agriculture, Information, Finance & Insurance, and Federal Government.

Employment and Wages by County

As shown in Table 4, employment increased in all but two of Wyoming’s 23 counties during third quarter.

Campbell County added 2,078 jobs or 9.6%. Rapid employment growth occurred in Mining (including oil & gas), Construction, Transportation & Warehousing, and Administrative & Waste Services. More modest growth was seen in Manufacturing, Retail Trade, Accommodation & Food Services, and Government.

In third quarter, Sweetwater County posted a gain of 1,336 jobs or 6.4%. Mining; Construction; Manufacturing; Transportation & Warehousing; and Real Estate & Rental & Leasing all saw notable employment increases. Slight job losses occurred in Health Care & Social Assistance and Accommodation & Food Services.

Table 5 shows that Natrona County added 657 jobs (1.8%) in the third quarter. Mining grew by 422 jobs or 13.2% and Accommodation & Food Services added 170 jobs (5.5%). Administrative & Waste Services employment fell by 156 jobs (9.0%) because of layoffs by telemarketing firms.

Laramie County grew by 1,047 jobs or 2.6% in the third quarter (see Table 6). Local Government (including public schools and hospitals) added 414 jobs or 7.4% and Retail Trade gained 227 jobs or 4.1%. Job gains also occurred in Construction (119 jobs or 4.2%), Health Care & Social Assistance (100 jobs or 3.2%), and Professional & Technical Services (79 jobs or 5.5%). Employment fell in Administrative & Waste Services and Information.

Sublette County was the fastest growing county in third quarter, adding 640 jobs or 19.1%. Mining (including oil & gas) and Construction were responsible for well over half of the new jobs. Other job gains were spread throughout many sectors such as Retail Trade; Information; Professional & Technical Services; and Accommodation & Food Services.

Employment in Uinta County increased by 529 jobs or 6.1% in third quarter. Mining and Construction experienced the largest job gains, but growth was also seen in Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, Finance & Insurance, and Accommodation & Food Services.

Teton County added 479 jobs or 2.5%. Construction; Arts, Entertainment & Recreation; and Accommodation & Food Services gained the most new jobs. Growth was also seen in Real Estate & Rental & Leasing; Professional & Technical Services; Management of Companies & Enterprises; and Educational Services. Jobs were lost in Manufacturing, Transportation & Warehousing; Information; and Administrative & Waste Services. In third quarter, Fremont County gained 358 jobs or 2.4%. Healthy growth was seen in Mining (including oil & gas); Wholesale Trade; Real Estate & Rental & Leasing; and Accommodation & Food Services. Modest job losses occurred in Utilities, Manufacturing, and Administrative & Waste Services.

Platte County lost 37 jobs or 1.1% in third quarter. Slight job losses were spread across many sectors, including Agriculture, Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and Transportation & Warehousing. Modest job gains occurred in Construction, Wholesale Trade, and Information. In Lincoln County, employment fell by 5 jobs (0.1%). Job losses in Construction were partially offset by gains in Local Government; Transportation & Warehousing; and Accommodation & Food Services.

In summary, employment increased at a faster-than-average pace during third quarter 2005. Job gains appeared in many industries and in almost every county of the state. The largest gains were seen in Mining and Construction.

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