Wyoming Job Growth Continues in February 2008
February marked the 59th consecutive month (4 years and 11 months) of over-the-year job growth in Wyoming. Compared to February 2007, Wyoming gained 8,100 jobs (2.9%). U.S. job growth remained much slower (0.6%). Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 2.7%, markedly lower than the U.S. rate (4.8%).
From January to February, Wyoming added 1,500 jobs (0.5%). This level of increase is consistent with normal seasonal patterns. Seasonal job losses in natural resources & mining (-400 jobs, or -1.4%) and construction (-700 jobs, or -2.9%) were more than offset by seasonal gains in educational & health services (500 jobs, or 2.1%), leisure & hospitality (400 jobs, or 1.3%), and government (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals; 1,700 jobs, or 2.5%).
Over the year Wyoming added 8,100 jobs (2.9%). Large job gains were seen in construction (1,300 jobs, or 5.8%); transportation, warehousing, & utilities (1,200 jobs, or 8.6%); educational & health services (1,000 jobs, or 4.4%); and government (1,600 jobs, or 2.4%). Employment also grew in wholesale trade (600 jobs, or 7.1%), retail trade (600 jobs, or 1.9%), and financial activities (500 jobs, or 4.5%). Manufacturing employment was unchanged from February 2007 and information employment (including publishing, motion pictures, broadcasting, and telecommunications) decreased slightly (-100 jobs, or -2.5%).
Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and decreased from January to February. The highest unemployment rates were found in Big Horn County (5.1%), Fremont County (4.9%), and Washakie and Goshen counties (both 4.5%). Sublette County posted the lowest unemployment rate (1.6%), followed by Campbell (2.1%) and Teton (2.3%) counties. Compared to February 2007, most unemployment rates were unchanged or slightly lower. Two notable exceptions were Niobrara County, where unemployment increased from 2.9% in February 2007 to 3.9% in February 2008, and Goshen County, where unemployment increased from 3.7% to 4.5%.