© Copyright 2007 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning
Vol. 44 No. 7
Wyoming’s total payroll grew twice as fast as its five-year average from fourth quarter 2005 to fourth quarter 2006, spurred in large part by Mining (including oil & gas) and Construction. Total payroll increased in every county and every sector during fourth quarter 2006, and all but four counties experienced increases in employment.
From fourth quarter 2005 to fourth quarter 2006, total Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered payroll grew by $383.6 million or 16.8%, twice as fast as its five-year average (8.3%, see Table 1). UI covered payroll represents approximately 92% of all wage and salary disbursements in the state and 45% of personal income (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2007). Average weekly wage rose by $77 or 11.3%, much faster than its five-year average (5.6%). Employment increased by 12,692 jobs or 4.9%.
The covered payroll and employment data in this article are measured by place of work as compared to the labor force estimates (see Wyoming County Unemployment Rates) that are a measure of employed and unemployed persons by place of residence.
The Figure shows that job growth accelerated from 0.1% in first quarter 2003 to 5.0% in second quarter 2006 and remained at roughly the same level during the last two quarters of 2006. Total payroll growth has continued to increase, rising from 2.4% in fourth quarter 2002 to 16.8% in fourth quarter 2006 (see Table 2). The current expansion appears to be driven by job growth in Mining (including oil & gas) and Construction.
Statewide Employment and Wages by Industry
The purpose of this article is to show employment and payroll changes between fourth quarter 2005 and fourth quarter 2006. These economic changes help us gauge the strength of Wyoming’s economy and identify the fastest and slowest growing industries and geographic areas.
The largest job gains occurred in Mining (including oil & gas), Construction, Local Government (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals), Professional & Technical Services, Accommodation & Food Services, and Other Services (see Table 3).
Mining employment grew by 3,462 jobs or 14.5% and its total payroll increased by $108.8 million or 28.3%. Oil & gas extraction added about 250 jobs; Mining, except oil & gas, added about 900 jobs; and support activities for mining added more than 2,200 jobs.
Total payroll in Construction increased by $72.0 million or 33.6% and employment increased by 3,328 jobs (15.1%). In the fourth quarter there were notable job gains in construction of buildings (about 350 jobs), heavy & civil engineering construction (over 2,000 jobs), and specialty trade contractors (about 900 jobs). One particularly fast-growing sector was construction of oil & gas pipelines and refineries.
Local Government added 897 jobs or 2.2% in fourth quarter. Its total payroll rose by $39.9 million or 12.3%. Public schools and colleges added about 600 jobs and $26 million in payroll.
Professional & Technical Services saw its total payroll increase by $15.4 million or 14.9% and employment rose by 817 jobs (9.8%). The largest job gains were in management & technical consulting services, architectural & engineering services, and other professional & technical services.
Accommodation & Food Services added 769 jobs (2.8%) and its total payroll increased by $11.1 million (11.9%).
Fourth quarter total payroll in Other Services increased by $13.7 million or 28.8% and employment increased by 718 jobs (9.5%). Repair & maintenance services gained more than 600 jobs.
Health Care & Social Assistance gained 458 jobs or 2.3%. Its total payroll increased by $11.6 million or 6.5%. Ambulatory health care services (the sector that includes offices of physicians) added 273 jobs (3.6%) and social assistance added 111 jobs (2.1%). Private hospitals and nursing & residential care facilities both grew at a slower pace (1.0%).
Employment fell slightly in Agriculture, Information, Private Educational Services, Federal Government, and State Government. However, total payroll increased in every sector during fourth quarter.
Agriculture employment fell by 112 jobs or -4.9%, but total payroll increased by $1.8 million or 10.1%. Job losses were about evenly split between crop production, animal production, and agriculture & forestry support activities.
Total payroll increased by $1.9 million or 5.6% in the Information sector, but employment fell by 156 jobs (-3.6%). The largest job losses occurred in Internet service providers, search portals, & data processing, while employment increased in telecommunications.
Federal Government employment fell by 107 jobs (-1.5%) mostly because of modest job losses at many different agencies. Total payroll increased by $2.8 million or 3.0%.
Employment in State Government decreased by 218 jobs or 1.7% in fourth quarter. Its total payroll grew by $7.2 million or 5.7%. Minor job losses were seen in a number of state agencies and institutions.
Employment and Wages by County
Total payroll increased in every county, with the increases ranging from 3.7% in Platte County to 41.0% in Sublette County (see Table 4). Employment increased in all but four counties (Albany, Converse, Washakie, and Weston), suggesting widespread growth throughout the state.
Campbell County’s total payroll increased by $62.0 million or 22.2%. Employment rose by 2,443 jobs or 10.2%. Substantial job gains were seen in Mining (including oil & gas, approximately 500 jobs), Construction (approximately 500 jobs), and Retail Trade (approximately 300 jobs). Employment also rose in Manufacturing, Wholesale Trade, Transportation & Warehousing, Accommodation & Food Services, Other Services, and Local Government.
In fourth quarter Sweetwater County added 2,026 jobs (9.0%) and its total payroll increased by $49.6 million (19.6%). Mining (including oil & gas) created the largest number of new jobs (more than 800) followed by Other Services (more than 300). Strong job growth was also seen in Construction, Wholesale Trade, Transportation & Warehousing, Professional & Technical Services, and Administrative & Waste Services.
Natrona County added 1,616 jobs (4.3%) and its total payroll increased by $56.8 million or 16.1% (see Table 5). The largest job gains were found in Mining (including oil & gas), Construction, Accommodation & Food Services, and Other Services. The largest increases in total payroll were in Mining ($15.7 million), Local Government ($6.0 million), and Wholesale Trade ($5.9 million). Employment fell in Administrative & Waste Services; Information; Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation; Private Educational Services; Federal Government; and State Government.
Table 6 shows Laramie County’s total payroll increased by $26.8 million or 7.8% and employment rose by 935 jobs or 2.3%. Notable job gains were seen in Transportation & Warehousing (151 jobs or 8.7%), Accommodation & Food Services (146 jobs or 3.6%), Construction (144 jobs or 4.9%), Health Care & Social Assistance (116 jobs or 3.6%), and Local Government (112 jobs or 1.8%). Job losses occurred in Retail Trade (-120 jobs or -2.1%), Federal Government (-35 jobs or -1.4%) and Finance & Insurance (-14 jobs or -1.0%).
Carbon County added 860 jobs or 13.1% and its total payroll increased by $18.0 million or 35.2%. Construction created the largest number of new jobs (more than 500), but growth also occurred in Mining, Manufacturing, and Transportation & Warehousing.
Sheridan County’s total payroll increased by $15.5 million or 15.5% and employment grew by 830 jobs or 6.7%. Strong job growth occurred in Mining (including oil & gas), Construction, Retail Trade, and Professional & Technical Services.
Albany County’s employment fell by 216 jobs (-1.4%). Its total payroll, however, increased by $6.8 million or 5.9%. Job losses in State Government, Local Government, and Retail Trade were partially offset by gains in Construction, Manufacturing, and Professional & Technical Services.
In Converse County employment decreased by 33 jobs (-0.7%). Total payroll rose by $6.0 million or 14.9%. Modest job losses occurred in Manufacturing; Transportation & Warehousing; Health Care & Social Assistance; and Local Government. Employment increased in Mining and Construction.
Washakie County’s total payroll increased by $2.2 million or 7.5%, but employment fell by 44 jobs (-1.1%). Employment fell marginally in a number of sectors including Agriculture, Construction, Retail Trade, Health Care & Social Assistance, and Accommodation & Food Services.
Employment fell by 91 jobs (-4.0%) in Weston County during fourth quarter, but total payroll increased by $1.3 million or 8.7%. Job losses were seen in Mining and Accommodation & Food Services.
In summary, total payroll continued to grow rapidly in Wyoming. The most new jobs were created by Mining (including oil & gas) and Construction. The counties with the largest job growth were those directly impacted by energy development (Campbell and Sweetwater counties).
U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. (2007, May 15). SA04 State income and employment summary – Wyoming. Retrieved May 15, 2007, from http://www.bea.gov/regional/spi