© Copyright 1999 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

Who Are Wyoming's New Hires?
by: Valerie A. Davis, Senior Statistician tables by: Mike Evans, Tony Glover and G. Lee Saathoff

"The proportion of jobs held by new hires is increasing [in Wyoming]. Young adults make up the majority of new hires ..."

This is the last Wyoming Labor Force Trends article in a five-part series dealing with Wyoming labor market transactions. This article examines new hires--individuals who have not worked in Wyoming for the previous two years--and their degree of contact with Employment Services. We examine new hires in the labor market for the years 1994 through 1997 using several databases. Table 1 lists the databases and the information they provide. New hires represent a very large component of total labor market transactions. Their incidental contact with Employment Services and other programs is unexplored and deserves further analysis.

Who are new hires? We define new hires as people working in the Wyoming labor market in each of the years 1994-97 who have not worked in Wyoming for the previous eight quarters. If an individualís Social Security Number (SSN) is found on wage records in any quarter in 1994 and is not found in 1992 and 1993, s/he is considered a new hire. The year 1994, in this case, is the reference year. New hires can take newly created positions or replace other workers.

What is the "jobs worked" total? The jobs worked total for each year is the sum of the monthly job totals reported by employers every quarter divided by 12. Examination of this measure shows a general trend over time. Analysis also shows that as many employees leave the labor market as enter it throughout the year. Mike Evans wrote, "A firm may turn over its entire workforce in the course of two years and still be classified as stable growth compared to high turnover."(1) This can be seen in Table 2. Whereas the number of Construction jobs increased from 13,708 in 1994 to 15,051 in 1997 (1,343 jobs or 9.8%), that industryís ratio of new hires to jobs runs from 62.4 percent in 1994 to 100.4 percent in 1997. Similarly, the number of new hires in Retail Trade, at 48.2 percent of jobs in 1994, ballooned to 64.3 percent in 1995 and increased in each succeeding year. Figure 1 shows that the total number of new hires in nine out of ten industries relative to jobs worked has also been increasing each year.

Is there a relationship between industry and new hires? Analysis of Table 2 demonstrates a relationship between new hires and industries. More new hires work in Services, Retail Trade and Construction. Not only is there a higher incidence of new hires relative to jobs in these industries but also a steady increase in each industry for each successive year. Correspondingly, according to previous research by Sherry Yu, most new businesses also start in Services, Construction and Retail Trade(2).

Why do new hires enter the Wyoming labor market? New hires can be young people starting their first jobs or homemakers who need an outside job to boost family incomes. From the article by Sharon Ehli, "Some of those who entered the labor market were . . . older men and women who had retired or been laid off, and students. Some people start working to . . . supplement retirement savings, or [save] for a future event such as college. Federal welfare system changes have increased the number of entrants coming into the labor market as welfare recipients are being pushed off rolls and into work."(3)

What are some of the new hiresí demographics? Table 3 shows demographic variables for new hires such as their average age, as well as gender and origin of Social Security Number (SSN)(4). New hires with out-of-state SSNís and Wyoming driverís licenses have an average age of 31.8. The average age of Wyoming SSNís with Wyoming driverís licenses is 25.7. Analysis of this average shows that the age of out-of-state new hires exceeds the majority of Wyoming SSN new hires by six years. Young adults make up the majority of Wyoming SSN new hires starting their first jobs. When age is used as a proxy for experience, the increased ages of out-of-state SSN new hires indicate previous experience in the labor market. The more experienced out-of-state new hires move to this state in order to work in their industry, i.e., Construction.

As shown in Table 3, more males with out-of-state SSNís enter Wyomingís labor market than females. Male-dominated industries in Wyoming attract males from out-of-state. Construction is a male-dominated industry according to an article in the May 1996 issue of Trends(5), and it has the third largest number of new hires entering it each year.

Analysis of out-of-state SSNís shows only where people obtained their SSNís, not necessarily from where they moved (refer to "The Dynamic Composition of the Wyoming Workforce: A Study of Origins"). The difference between total workers in 1994 with out-of-state SSNís and Wyoming driverís licenses (19,644) and total 1994 out-of-state SSNís (51,796) illustrates that many people who come to Wyoming either do not have a license or do not want to give up their out-of-state driverís license until it expires. The number of new hires with out-of-state SSNís exceeds the number with Wyoming SSNís. However, the percentage of Wyoming SSN new hires has increased each year. Table 3 shows that 27.2 percent of all 1994 new hires had Wyoming SSNís. By 1997, 33.5 percent of new hires held Wyoming SSNís.

An article by Jeff Hadland reveals that a "strong national economy slowed migration into Alaska, reducing competition for the jobs created by Alaskaís moderate, steady growth."(6) Nonresidents entering Alaska decreased from 1996 to 1997. Hadland also writes that "fewer seasonal jobs and more year-round jobs meant that fewer workers were needed during the peak summer hiring season."(7) The same reasons apply to Wyoming due to the seasonality of certain occupations in industries that no longer singularly dominate Wyomingís economy (oil industry). Less migration into Wyoming by nonresidents boosts the likelihood that more residents obtain work here. Hadland goes on to say that "[t]raining programs produced Alaskan graduates with the needed skills to fill many more of the jobs available in 1997."(8) The opposite is the case with Wyoming. Over half of the new hires each year are workers with out-of-state SSNís.

What about the stateís economic picture? As shown in Figure 2, the ratio of new hires to total jobs worked was 56.4% in 1997. What explains this? The state of the economy (i.e., more businesses starting up, special projects in Construction and Mining) impacts the number of new hires. Employers in Agriculture, Retail Trade and Services do not need as many highly skilled employees as required by other industries and consequently they pay less. However, positions within these industries experience higher turnover. Analysis of Table 4 shows that the number of jobs in some counties increases at a significantly lower rate than the number of new hires entering the local labor market. For example, in Teton County, with a higher percentage of tourism as evidenced by the numbers of employees in Retail Trade and Services, new hires jumped from 9,848 to 11,249 (an increase of 14.2%), but jobs increased by only 117 (0.9%) from 1995 to 1996.

What about new hires and program utilization? Out of the total number of 1997 new hires (122,367), those who utilized any of the following programs some time during 1992-98 has been determined: Employment Services (49,053), Unemployment Insurance (13,373) and the University of Wyoming (5,085). Regardless of whether a person utilized one or more programs more than once, each person is counted only one time(9). Whether they utilized a program before, during or after employment cannot be determined from the combined database. Analysis of the Map and Table 5 shows that over 30.0 percent of 1997 new hires in 18 out of 23 counties and all of the industries utilized Employment Services sometime during 1992-1998. Employment Services include inquiries about jobs, unemployment insurance and training programs. Less than 13.0 percent of the total new hires filed UI claims as shown in Table 6. Less than seven percent of new hires in any industry attended the University of Wyoming. The overall picture shows that, at some point, a big percentage of new hires utilize one or more of these programs.

What can we conclude about new hires? The proportion of jobs held by new hires is increasing. Young adults make up the majority of new hires with Wyoming SSNís. Older, more experienced males make up the majority of out-of-state SSN new hires. In 1997, more than 30.0 percent of new hires utilized Employment Services. This information could assist Employment Services, as well as other programs in how to reach new hires in the future.

1 Mike Evans, "Job Turnover and Hire Rates in Wyoming," Wyoming Labor Force Trends, June 1999, pp. 1-5.

2 Sherry Yu, "Update: New Business Formation in Wyoming," Wyoming Labor Force Trends, January 1999, pp. 1-9.

3 Sharon Ehli, "Recent trend indicates an increase in the number of workers," South Dakota Labor Bulletin, January 1998, (http://www.state.sd.us/dol/lmic/lbartlfent.htm).

4 Mike Evans, "Where Does the Wyoming Worker Come From?" Wyoming Labor Force Trends, November 1996, pp. 1-6.

5 Brett Judd and Gregg Detweiler, "The Relation of Age and Gender to Employment in Wyoming," Wyoming Labor Force Trends, May 1996, pp. 1-4.

6 Jeff Hadland, "Resident/Nonresident Hire," Alaska Economic Trends, February 1999, p. 11.

7 Ibid, p. 11.

8 Ibid, p. 11.

9 Tony Glover, "Employment Service Utilization for Individuals with Multiple Employers," Wyoming Labor Force Trends, May 1999, p. 8.


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