Job Growth Continues in October; Unemployment Down Slightly
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist
Aided by relatively high energy prices, Wyoming employment continued to grow in October, adding 4,800 jobs or 1.9 percent in over-the-year comparisons. Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased slightly from 3.9 percent in September to 3.8 percent in October while U.S. unemployment edged upward, rising from 5.4 percent to 5.5 percent.
From September to October, Wyoming lost 2,400 jobs or 0.9 percent. This seasonal decrease is consistent with those seen in previous years. Seasonal job losses in Retail Trade (-600 jobs or -2.0%) and Leisure & Hospitality (-3,800 jobs or -11.2%) were partially offset by job gains in Government (1,800 jobs or 2.8%). The beginning of the academic school year for public schools and colleges was mostly responsible for the seasonal job gains in Government.
From October 2003 to October 2004, Wyoming gained 4,800 jobs or 1.9 percent. Employment in Natural Resources & Mining (including oil & gas) continued to grow at a rapid pace, adding 2,000 jobs or 10.5 percent. Other growth industries included Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities (400 jobs or 3.4%), Financial Activities (400 jobs or 3.9%), Educational & Health Services (1,000 jobs or 4.7%), Leisure & Hospitality (400 jobs or 1.3%), and Government (700 jobs or 1.1%).
Minor job losses were recorded in Construction (-100 jobs or -0.5%), Manufacturing (-100 jobs or -1.0%), Information (-100 jobs or -2.4%), Professional & Business Services (-300 jobs or -1.9%), and Other Services (-100 jobs or -1.0%).
Across Wyoming’s 23 counties, unemployment rates remained low. Laramie County posted the highest rate in October (4.6%). It was followed by Fremont (4.4%) and Platte (4.0%) counties. The lowest rates were found in Sublette (1.5%), Albany (1.6%), and Johnson (1.7%) counties.
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