Wyoming Job Growth Moderates in March 2008
Wyoming job growth moderated somewhat, as the over-the-year growth rate slowed from 3.2% in February to 2.7% in March. Job growth peaked at 5.6% in June 2006 and has gradually declined since then. However, Wyoming’s job growth rate has consistently ranked among the fastest of any state. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly from 2.7% in February to 3.1% in March (not a statistically significant increase), but remained well below the U.S. unemployment rate (5.1%).
From February to March, Wyoming gained 2,000 jobs (0.7%). This is slightly less than the normal seasonal increase (2,800 jobs). Seasonal job gains were seen in construction (600 jobs, or 2.5%), retail trade (300 jobs, or 1.0%), professional & business services (500 jobs, or 2.8%), and government (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals; 700 jobs, or 1.0%).
Over the year Wyoming added 7,500 jobs (2.7%). Employment increased in almost all sectors. The fastest growth occurred in wholesale trade (600 jobs, or 7.0%); transportation, warehousing, & utilities (800 jobs, or 5.7%); and construction (1,300 jobs, or 5.5%). More moderate growth was seen in natural resources & mining (500 jobs, or 1.9%), retail trade (500 jobs, or 1.6%), professional & business services (600 jobs, or 3.4%), educational & health services (600 jobs, or 2.6%), leisure & hospitality (500 jobs, or 1.6%), and government (1,800 jobs, or 2.7%). Manufacturing employment fell slightly (-200 jobs, or -2.0%) and information employment was unchanged from a year earlier.
Unemployment rates increased in every county from February to March, but overall levels remained low. Only four counties posted rates of 5.0% or higher (Washakie, 5.8%; Big Horn and Niobrara, 5.4%; and Fremont, 5.0%). The lowest unemployment rates were found in Sublette (1.8%), Teton (2.5%), and Campbell (2.6%) counties.