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

October News
by: David Bullard, Economist

"Casper added 800 jobs for a 2.6 percent growth rate and Cheyenne added 1,000 jobs (+2.8%)."

Nonagricultural employment in Wyoming grew 1.4 percent in October, creating 3,200 new jobs. Growth was strongest in Construction (+900 jobs or 5.2%), Services (+1,300 jobs or 2.6%) and Manufacturing (+300 jobs or 2.6%). Employment in Wyoming’s two largest cities, Casper and Cheyenne continued to grow faster than the state as a whole. Casper added 800 jobs for a 2.6 percent growth rate and Cheyenne added 1,000 jobs (+2.8%). During the same period, employment growth for the U.S. was 2.1 percent, higher than Wyoming, but lower than Casper and Cheyenne.

Mining employment decreased by 400 jobs or 2.4 percent. Large job losses in Oil & Gas Extraction (-500 jobs or 6.0%) were tempered by employment gains in Coal Mining (+100 jobs or 2.3%).

Large numbers of new jobs were created in Business Services (+600 or 8.6%), Retail Trade (+600 or 1.3%) and Social Services (+300 or 5.5%). Within Construction, the largest gains were in General Building Contractors, which increased by 500 jobs or 12.2 percent.

Wyoming’s unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.7 percent in September to 3.9 percent in October. It remains below its October 1998 level of 4.1 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent, barely below Wyoming’s rate. The over the year decrease in the number of unemployed (-3.2%) held down labor force growth to 2,145 individuals or 0.8 percent.

Continued Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims decreased by 12.0 percent over the year. The largest decrease in claims occurred in the Mining industry where the number of claims fell from 952 in October 1998 to 411 in October 1999. However, establishment survey data show Mining employment decreasing as well.

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