Wyoming Job Growth Increases in January
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist
Job growth increased in January as 5,300 new jobs were created (2.2%) in Wyoming. On the other hand, U.S. nonfarm employment was essentially unchanged from a year earlier (6,000 jobs or 0.0%). Job gains in Natural Resources & Mining (including oil & gas) were especially strong (2,000 jobs or 11.7%). The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent from 4.3 percent in December.
As expected, employment fell by 6,800 jobs or 2.7 percent from December to January. This decrease is similar to the seasonal employment decreases seen in previous years. Large job losses occurred in Construction (-1,800 jobs or -9.4%), Retail Trade (-1,300 jobs or -4.3%), Leisure & Hospitality (-900 jobs or -3.2%), and Government (-1,200 jobs or -1.8%).
From January 2003 to January 2004, Wyoming added 5,300 jobs or 2.2 percent. This is the highest level of over-the-year employment growth seen since December 2001. Many of the job gains appear related to increased drilling for natural gas. Natural Resources & Mining (including oil & gas) added 2,000 jobs or 11.7 percent. Other industries with significant job growth include Construction (700 jobs or 4.2%), Transportation & Utilities (400 jobs or 3.5%), Financial Activities (700 jobs or 7.1%), Education & Health Services (800 jobs or 3.9%), and Government (800 jobs or 1.3%). Leisure & Hospitality fell by 400 jobs or 1.5 percent.
As expected, most county unemployment rates increased from December to January. The largest increases occurred in Goshen (up from 3.2% in December to 4.8% in January), Big Horn (4.7% in December, 6.0% in January), Hot Springs (4.0% in December, 5.1% in January), and Johnson counties (3.3% in December, 4.3% in January).
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