Wyoming Unemployment Falls
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist
Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 4.2 percent in June
to 4.1 percent in July and labor force growth remained strong (up 2.3% from July
2002). In contrast, U.S. unemployment fell slightly (down from 6.4% in June to
6.2% in July) because of a decreasing national labor force (down 556,000
individuals or 0.4% from June to July). Wyoming job growth continued at a very
slow pace (up 1,600 jobs or 0.6%) while the U.S. lost jobs (down 404,000 or
From June to July, Wyoming nonagricultural employment fell by 3,300 jobs or 1.3 percent. A seasonal decline of this magnitude is expected as public schools close for summer vacation. Government employment (including school districts and colleges) fell by 5,800 jobs or 9.0 percent. Leisure & Hospitality added 1,600 jobs or 4.5 percent marking July as the usual peak of the summer tourist season.
From July 2002 to July 2003, Wyoming added 1,600 jobs or 0.6 percent. Job losses in the goods-producing sector, which have plagued Wyoming for many months, moderated in July. Manufacturing lost 100 jobs over the year (-1.1%) and Natural Resources & Mining also lost 100 jobs (-0.5%). Construction employment grew slightly, adding 200 jobs (0.9%). In the service-providing sector, the employment situation was mixed. Leisure & Hospitality added 800 jobs (2.2%), Government added 800 jobs (1.4%), and Educational & Health Services added 400 jobs (2.0%). However, Retail Trade fell by 300 jobs (-1.0%), Financial Activities fell by 100 jobs (-1.0%), and Professional & Business Services fell by 300 jobs (-1.8%).
Across Wyoming’s 23 counties, most unemployment rates fell from June to July. Lincoln County and Fremont County posted the largest declines, both falling by 0.8 percentage points (down from 5.4% to 4.6% and 5.7% to 4.9%, respectively). Other counties with large declines included Uinta (down from 5.4% to 4.7%), Teton (down from 2.5% to 1.8%), Converse (down from 4.7% to 4.1%), Carbon (down from 4.5% to 3.9%), and Campbell (down from 4.0% to 3.4%). Hot Springs unemployment rate was unchanged at 2.3 percent, while unemployment increased slightly in Weston, Albany, and Sublette counties.
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