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

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

When compared to September 2001, Wyoming employment grew by 0.4 percent. Because of job losses in Mining and Manufacturing, the rate of over-the-year job growth has been falling steadily since September 2001, when it stood at 3.0 percent. However, it is notable that Wyoming continues to add jobs even as the U.S. loses jobs on an over-the-year basis (-0.7%). Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 3.6 percent in August to 3.9 percent in September, but remained well below the U.S. jobless rate of 5.6 percent in September.

From August to September, Wyoming lost 1,700 jobs or 0.7 percent. Typically, employment falls in September, as tourist-related activity and Construction work begins to slow. Job losses in Retail Trade (-1,400 jobs or -2.8%), Services
(-3,700 jobs or -5.8%), and Construction (-200 jobs or -1.0%), were partially offset by typical job gains in State Government (400 jobs or 2.9%) and Local Government (4,000 jobs or 10.9%). Local Government gains occurred mainly in school districts and community colleges.

From September 2001 to September 2002, a net 900 jobs (0.4%) were created in the State. Job gains in Wholesale Trade (300 jobs or 3.7%), Services (500 jobs or 0.8%), and Government (1,200 jobs or 1.9%) were offset by job losses in Manufacturing (-500 jobs or -4.5%), Mining (-400 jobs or -2.0%), and Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities (-200 jobs or -1.4%). Retail Trade was relatively stable, falling by 100 jobs or 0.2 percent. Within Mining, gains in coal mining (300 jobs or 6.1%), were overshadowed by losses in oil & gas extraction (-600 jobs or -4.7%), and nonmetallic mineral mining (-100 jobs or -3.7%).

Across Wyoming’s 23 counties, unemployment rates were uniformly low in September. Lincoln and Fremont counties posted the highest rates (both 5.0%) while Teton and Albany counties posted the lowest rates (both 1.5%). Unemployment rates were lower than September 2001 in a majority of Wyoming counties. Carbon and Sweetwater counties had the largest declines, falling from 4.0 percent to 2.8 percent and 4.6 percent to 3.6 percent, respectively.

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