Wyoming Unemployment Unchanged
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist
Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held
steady at 3.9 percent in October 2002, but job growth continued to slow. In October,
over-the-year job growth in Wyoming stood at 0.1 percent, a gain
of 200 jobs. The U.S. continued to lose jobs (-0.4%), and U.S. unemployment increased
slightly from 5.6 percent in September to 5.7 percent in October.
From September to October, Wyoming lost 2,400 jobs or 0.9 percent. This seasonal decrease is seen most years, as tourist-related activity falls. Retail Trade, including eating & drinking places, lost 1,100 jobs or 2.3 percent over the month, while Services, including hotels & other lodging places, lost 3,100 jobs or 5.1 percent. Local government gained 1,800 jobs or 4.5 percent as public schools and community colleges added workers.
In over-the-year comparisons, job growth slowed to 0.1 percent in October. Job losses in Mining (-500 jobs or -2.4%), Manufacturing (-500 jobs or -4.3%), and Retail Trade (-200 jobs or -0.4%), were offset by job gains in Construction (500 jobs or 2.6%), Wholesale Trade (400 jobs or 5.0%), and Services (500 jobs or 0.9%). Within Mining, gains in coal mining (200 jobs or 4.0%) were overshadowed by large job losses in oil & gas extraction (-600 jobs or
Unemployment rates in Wyoming counties were stable and low in October. Fremont County posted the highest unemployment rate (5.2%). It was followed by Lincoln (5.0%) and Uinta (4.9%) counties. Albany County recorded the lowest unemployment rate (1.5%). Most unemployment rates changed little from September to October. However, Teton County, which is heavily dependent on tourism, saw unemployment increase from 1.5 to 2.1 percent. Large decreases in unemployment occurred in Washakie County (down from 4.2% to 3.4%) and Big Horn County (down from 4.1% to 3.6%), where sugar manufacturing typically adds workers at this time of year.
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