Wyoming Unemployment Inches Up in
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist
Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate inched upward from 3.4
percent in April to 3.7 percent in May. It remains below its May 2003 level of
4.4 percent and the U.S. jobless rate of 5.6 percent. Over-the-year job growth
continued at a healthy pace as the state added 4,200 jobs or 1.7 percent. U.S.
job growth, while still lower than Wyoming, increased to 1.1 percent, its
highest level since February 2001.
From April to May, Wyoming added 7,200 jobs or 2.9 percent, which is about the normal seasonal increase. Warmer weather and the start of the summer tourist season prompted job gains in Natural Resources & Mining (600 jobs or 3.1%), Construction (1,400 jobs or 7.7%), Retail Trade (600 jobs or 2.1%), and Leisure & Hospitality (2,900 jobs or 10.5%).
From May 2003, Wyoming’s economy grew by 4,200 jobs or 1.7 percent. Natural Resources & Mining (the industry which includes oil & gas) again led the state in job creation, adding 2,000 jobs or 11.2 percent. Other notable job gains occurred in Wholesale Trade (300 jobs or 4.3%), Financial Activities (500 jobs or 5.0%), Educational & Health Services (700 jobs or 3.3%), Leisure & Hospitality (400 jobs or 1.3%), and Government (800 jobs or 1.2%). Employment fell slightly in Construction (-200 jobs or -1.0%), Information (-100 jobs or -2.4%), and Other Services (-200 jobs or -2.1%).
Across Wyoming’s 23 counties, unemployment rates were generally stable or down slightly from April to May. The largest decrease occurred in Teton County, where unemployment fell from 6.6 percent in April to 4.3 percent in May. Fremont County posted the highest unemployment rate in May (5.4%). It was followed by Lincoln and Platte counties (both 4.4%). The lowest unemployment rates were found in Niobrara (1.5%), Johnson (1.8%), and Albany (1.9%) counties.
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