Copyright 2002 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

Wyoming Job Growth Slows in June
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming job growth, measured on an over-the-year basis, fell from 1.3 percent in May to 0.8 percent in June. The U.S. continued to lose jobs in over-the-year comparisons (-1.1%). U.S. unemployment increased from 5.8 percent in May to 5.9 percent in June, while Wyoming unemployment was unchanged at 4.3 percent.

From May to June 2002, Wyoming gained 8,100 jobs or 3.2 percent. This level of over-the-month growth is consistent with the historical series, which increased 9,300 jobs in June 2001 and 7,300 jobs in June 2000. From May to June, Services gained 4,200 jobs (7.0%), Retail Trade gained 2,000 jobs (4.2%), and Construction added 800 jobs (4.2%). Mining employment grew by 600 jobs or 3.1 percent.

When compared to June 2001, Wyoming nonagricultural employment grew by 2,100 jobs or 0.8 percent. June 2002 marks the first time since September 1998 that Wyoming job growth has fallen below 1.0 percent. Services employment continued to grow, adding 1,700 jobs or 2.7 percent. Within Services, growth was seen in hotels & lodging places, auto & miscellaneous repair, health services, and private social services. Government added 600 jobs or 0.9 percent and Construction employment grew by 400 jobs or 2.1 percent.

Despite gaining jobs from May to June, Mining remained 300 jobs or 1.5 percent below its June 2001 level. Modest gains in coal mining (200 jobs or 4.2%) were more than offset by job losses in oil & gas extraction (-300 jobs or 2.5%) and other areas of Mining. Manufacturing and Retail Trade also remained 300 jobs below their June 2001 levels.

County unemployment rates were mixed in June. Unemployment decreased in ten Wyoming counties from May to June, increased in nine, and was unchanged in four (see page 13 for complete details). Teton County's unemployment rate fell from 3.9 percent in May to 2.1 percent in June. Washakie County's unemployment rate also fell in June, decreasing from 6.8 percent to 5.2 percent.

When compared to June 2001, unemployment increased in a majority of Wyoming counties. Uinta (up from 4.7% to 6.4%), Campbell (up from 2.7% to 3.4%), and Natrona (up from 3.9% to 4.5%) counties seem to be affected by recent job losses in Mining. However, unemployment decreased significantly in Fremont (down from 6.1% to 5.6%), Park (down from 3.8% to 3.5%), and Big Horn (down from 5.1% to 4.8%) counties.

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