Copyright 2002 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Covered Employment and Wages for Third Quarter 2001

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

tables by: Nancy Brennan, Economist

"Campbell County was the fastest growing area of the state, adding 2,160 jobs or 11.6 percent. About half of the job gains in Campbell County were in Mining (including oil & gas extraction)."

Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered employment1 increased by 8,245 jobs or 3.5 percent during the third quarter of 2001 compared to the third quarter 2000. Third quarter's employment increase is significantly higher than the five-year average growth of 2.2 percent (see Table 1). Total payroll increased by 9.2 percent, well above the five-year average of 6.4 percent. Average weekly wage increased by $28 or 5.5 percent, also above its five-year average of 4.2 percent.

Statewide Employment and Wages by Industry

Table 2 shows that Mining, Local Government, and Services created the largest number of jobs in third quarter. Mining added 2,821 jobs or 16.0 percent as a result of strong gains in oil & gas extraction and coal mining. Employment was flat or down slightly in other areas of Mining (metal mining and nonmetallic mineral mining). Local Government grew by 2,737 jobs or 8.7 percent, but part of this employment increase is related to the reclassification of Indian Tribal Councils from private sector Services to Local Government.2 Job gains in local hospitals (200 jobs) and local education (1,200 jobs) also helped increase Local Government employment during third quarter. Services gained 1,664 jobs or 3.0 percent, including 300 jobs in business services, 300 jobs in miscellaneous repair services, 500 jobs in health services, 500 jobs in private social services, and 400 jobs in engineering & management services. Employment growth in private sector Services would have been greater without a change in the classification of firms owned by American Indian Tribes to the public sector.

Wholesale Trade grew significantly during third quarter 2001, adding 340 jobs or 4.3 percent. The majority of these job gains occurred in durable goods and may be related to increased oil & gas activity in the State.

Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate (FIRE) added 329 jobs or 4.0 percent in third quarter. Depository institutions grew by 100 jobs, real estate added 100 jobs, and holding companies added 100 jobs. Insurance employment was flat.

Construction employment grew by 556 jobs or 2.8 percent. Employment fell among general building contractors, but gains in heavy construction and special trades construction more than made up for these losses.

Manufacturing and Retail Trade both lost jobs when compared with third quarter 2000. Manufacturing employment decreased by 307 jobs or 2.7 percent because modest job gains in industrial & commercial machinery and rubber & miscellaneous plastics products were not enough to offset job losses in food processing, chemicals, and petroleum refining. Within Retail Trade, large job losses occurred in food stores and eating & drinking places. However, employment grew in building materials & garden supply stores and miscellaneous retail (the industry which includes catalog and mail-order houses).

Average weekly wage increased in all but two major industries in third quarter. State Government had the largest increase where wages grew by $85 or 14.5 percent. This was the result of market pay increases implemented by the legislature. Construction wages grew by $54 or 9.6 percent.

Average weekly wages in Federal Government fell by $34 or 4.2 percent as federal agencies added lower-paid summer workers. Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities (TCPU) wages decreased by $27 or 3.7 percent as a result of a bonus paid in communications in third quarter 2000 (but not repeated in 2001).

Employment and Wages by County

As shown in Table 3, employment increased in 17 of Wyoming's 23 counties during third quarter. Campbell County was the fastest growing area of the State, adding 2,169 jobs or 11.6 percent. About half of the job gains in Campbell County were in Mining (including oil & gas extraction). Employment in Construction, TCPU, and Services also grew rapidly.

Natrona County added 1,198 jobs or 3.8 percent during third quarter. Large employment gains occurred in Mining (including oil & gas extraction), Manufacturing, Services, and Local Government. Retail Trade employment fell slightly.

Employment in Fremont County grew by 529 jobs or 3.8 percent, mostly because of job gains in Construction.

Lincoln County added 465 jobs or 9.0 percent when compared with third quarter 2000. Mining, Construction, and Local Government all posted strong job gains, which offset job losses in Manufacturing.

Employment grew in Laramie County by 330 jobs or 0.9 percent in third quarter 2001. Employment in Retail Trade and Services 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 employment fell by about 100 jobs, but gains in State Government and Local Government (which includes local hospitals and school districts) helped push up job growth in Laramie County.

Sheridan County was the only area where employment fell by more than 100 jobs. Employment decreased in Sheridan County by 154 jobs or 1.4 percent as job losses in Retail Trade were not offset by significant gains in other industries.

Average weekly wage increased in all but two of Wyoming's counties. Wages fell by $44 or 8.5 percent in Weston County because a bonus paid in Mining in third quarter 2000 was not repeated in 2001. The decline in average weekly wage in Carbon County of $12 or 2.6 percent is partially attributable to the closure of a coal mine there in 2000.

The largest increase in average weekly wage occurred in Campbell County ($91 or 14.6%) as a result of pipeline construction and growth in Mining (including oil & gas) employment.

Uinta County's average weekly wage grew by $34 or 7.2 percent during third quarter 2001. Mining and Construction were the largest contributors to this increase in wages.

More detailed tables on third quarter covered employment and wages are located on our website at: < >.

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

2This 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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