© Copyright 1999 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

Third Quarter 1999 Preliminary Employment and Payroll Estimates for Wyoming
by: Gregg Detweiler, Senior Economist

"The predominant industries . . . were Services, Construction and Government. These . . . accounted for 83 percent of the annual growth."

W yoming’s total nonagricultural employment produced an annual gain of 3,500 jobs from third quarter 1998 (see Table). The predominant industries showing annual growth were Services, Construction and Government. These industries accounted for 83 percent of the annual growth. Wyoming's total nonagricultural wage & salary payroll grew by $51,558,884 or 3.6 percent during the same time period (see Figure), increasing the average weekly wage (AWW) from $466 in third quarter 1998 (98Q3) to $480 in third quarter 1999 (99Q3).


Wyoming’s Mining industry is one of two industries that showed a decrease in annual employment. The majority of the loss can be accounted for in the oil & gas extraction industry, where approximately 1,000 jobs have been lost since first quarter 1999. This loss is considered an anomaly to analysts and many of the labor market indicators like the Current Employment Statistics (CES), Mass Layoff Statistics (MLS) and Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) did not catch this significant decline in jobs in preliminary estimates. Wyoming’s Mining industry relies on special projects and federal legislation which caused contractual changes on permits used to drill on U.S. Bureau of Land Management properties. Along with the significant loss in employment comes a loss of $4,547,166 in total payroll over-the-year. However, the AWW rose from $906 to $935 during the same time period.


Wyoming's Construction employment increased considerably compared to a year ago. With the increase in federal highway funds, road construction stands to be the major influence in Construction employment. Also, the increase in building permits, especially in Natrona County, has contributed to the increase in employment. The Construction industry produced the largest gain in total payroll from third quarter 1998, increasing by $18,216,497 or 15.0 percent over-the-year. The average weekly wage increased by $37 to a level of $559.


Employment levels have stabilized throughout the Manufacturing industry. Wyoming Manufacturing levels produce higher employment gains in the third quarter due to the harvesting of sugar beets in late September and early October. Wyoming's Manufacturing total payroll has remained stable as well, only showing a 3.2 percent ($2,792,842) increase from third quarter 1998.

Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities (TCPU)

Wyoming’s Transportation employment has continued to show annual growth throughout 1999. All of the growth has been concentrated in the Transportation industry. Employment in the Communications and Public Utilities industries has remained stable as well. The major component that affects these industries is the fluctuation in the state's population. Even though employment gains were minimal, total payroll increased by $7,105,943 or 6.0 percent from third quarter 1998. This gain also increased the AWW from $644 to $663 over-the-year.


Third quarter employment levels within the Trade industry have produced normal seasonal swings; however, annual employment gains among individual industries have been minimal. Eating & drinking establishments, department stores and food stores accounted for the annual growth. Total payroll grew by $10,871,640 from third quarter 1998, causing the AWW to increase for both Wholesale ($589) and Retail Trade ($277).


Wyoming’s Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate (FIRE) industry has seen its share of corporate mergers, buyouts and reorganizations for the last two to three years. These tactics have slowed growth in both employment and total payroll. Total payroll was estimated to grow by 3.8 percent or $2,253,653 from third quarter 1998, causing the AWW to increase by $34 to $576 for third quarter 1999.


The Services sector produced the largest annual employment gain of all the major industries. Business services, hotel & lodging places and social services accounted for the majority of the annual growth. In contrast, total payroll for Wyoming's Services industries had the smallest increase in annual gains. Total payroll has been estimated to grow by 2.3 percent or $5,976,906 from third quarter 1998, causing the average weekly wage to grow by $10 to a level of $373 for third quarter 1999.


Wyoming’s Government sector is comprised of three industries (federal, state and local) all containing different seasonality. For state and local government, the third quarter represents a shut down as well as the beginning of the school year. Third quarter marks the peak for employment in federal government due to tourism throughout the National Parks around the state. Total payroll is expected to grow by $10,198,656 over-the-year, with the largest gain coming from local government. However, the average weekly wages for federal and state government are expected to increase by at least $23 to levels of $761 and $569, respectively.


Table of Contents | Labor Market Information | Wyoming Job Network | Send Us Mail

These pages designed by Gayle C. Edlin.
Last modified on by Valerie A. Davis.