© Copyright 2001 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

Wyoming Growth Slows in March, but Continues to Outpace U.S.
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

"Over the year, Wyoming's employment growth rate was more than double the U.S. growth rate."

Wyoming job growth slowed from 2.5 percent in February to 1.9 percent in March, but continued to outpace the nation (0.9% in March). Approximately 4,500 jobs were created when compared with March 2000, making Wyoming’s employment growth rate more than double the U.S. growth rate. Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased to 3.4 percent, well below the U.S. rate of 4.3 percent, and below its March 2000 level of 3.7 percent.

Large employment gains were seen in Mining (1,900 jobs or 11.4%), Retail Trade (1,700 jobs or 3.9%) and Services (1,000 jobs or 1.9%). Mining gains were centered in oil and gas extraction, while other industries within mining (coal mining and nonmetallic minerals) were flat or down slightly. Within Retail Trade, employment increases were seen in almost every type of store. The largest increase in Retail Trade occurred in department stores, which gained 700 jobs or 18.9 percent. Services job gains were concentrated in health services (400 jobs or 3.7%), business services (200 jobs or 2.5%) and social services (200 jobs or 3.4%).

When compared with March 2000, significant job losses occurred in telephone communications (-200 jobs or 18.2%) and Federal Government (-800 jobs or 10.5%). The decrease in Federal Government employment was related to the temporary workers hired in 2000 to conduct the decennial census.

From February to March, the unemployment rate increased in only two counties. Washakie County increased from 3.9 percent to 5.2 percent, and Hot Springs County increased from 4.3 percent to 4.6 percent. The unemployment rates in Big Horn County (6.2%), Campbell County (3.2%) and Teton County (1.7%) were unchanged in March. The remaining 18 counties experienced unemployment declines from February to March.

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