II. Highlights

Wyoming average annual monthly employment of 212,217 in 1995 showed a 2,786 jobs (1.3%) increase when compared to 209,431 in 1994 (see Table 1). A modest $121.0 million (2.6%) total payroll increase occurred over the 1994-95 period when compared to 1993-94 $217.6 million (4.9%) increase. The 1995 average annual wage of $22,351 increased from $22,071 in 1994. This increase of $280 (1.3%) suggests that the average annual wage has not kept up with the 1995 rate of inflation of 2.8 percent.

The nation had an average annual wage of $27,845 in 1995, compared to a state average annual wage of $22,351, a 24.6% difference of $5,494.

Wyoming is basically a service-producing state (transportation, wholesale and retail trade, finance, services, state, local, and federal government). Services replaced retail trade as the largest employment division within the service-producing sector. Services showed the largest 1994-95 employment gains of 2,229 jobs (5.3%). Retail trade, the second largest employment division within private industry (see Table 10), showed the second largest 1994-95 employment gain of 1,261 jobs (2.9%). The sole private division in the service-producing sector declining in employment was transportation, communications, & public utilities with a loss of 329 jobs (-2.9%). State government lost 242 jobs (-2.0%).

The goods-producing sector (construction, mining, manufacturing) showed declines in the number of jobs worked. Mining, the fourth largest statewide employment division, lost 802 jobs (-4.5%). Oil and gas extraction lost 1,006 jobs (-11.5%) and metal mining lost 16 jobs (-2.6%). Non-metallic minerals gained 149 jobs and coal mining gained 70 jobs (1.5%) within the mining division. Construction increased by 487 jobs (3.6%). Special trade contractors gained 503 jobs (7.8%); heavy construction, except building, increased by 107 jobs (2.8%); and general building contractors lost 124 jobs (-3.5%). Manufacturing lost 297 jobs jobs (-3.0%). Significant job gains within manufacturing included 47 in electronic and other electric equipment (29.0%), and 14 in fabricated metal products. However, significant job losses in manufacturing included 128 in printing and publishing (-7.4%), 66 in rubber and miscellaneous plastic products (-22.7%), 57 in petroleum and coal products (-6.4%), and 42 in industrial machinery and equipment (-3.7%).

Geographically, all regions showed growth between 1994 and 1995. The Southeast Region led the other regions in 1994-95 annual average monthly employment growth with a gain of 820 jobs (1.5%). Most of the Southeast Region's increase occurred in Albany and Laramie counties. Government comprises one-third of the employment in the Southeast Region, where government lost 218 jobs (-1.2%). All divisions, with the exception of manufacturing and transportation, in the Southeast Region showed modest to good employment gains.

The Northwest Region posted a 720 job (2.2%) gain. Tourism, construction, manufacturing and government play a big part in the Northwest region. All divisions, with the exception of manufacturing and state government, in the Southwest Region showed modest to good employment gains. Most of this growth (90.0%) in the Northwest Region occurred in Park and Fremont counties.

Tables comparing 1989-95 employment, payroll, and average annual wages for each industrial division by county have been included in Section VII. Wyoming's employment and earnings are not distributed evenly either geographically or industrially.

As shown in Table 1, Natrona county (Central Region) recorded the highest 1994-95 annual monthly employment gain of 551 jobs (2.0%). Most of Natrona's growth (see Table 98) was in the service-producing sector, mainly in the services, retail trade, and construction divisions. Services, retail trade, local government, and wholesale trade are the largest industrial divisions in Natrona county.

In the Northwest Region, Park county (see Table 75) placed second among the counties for 1994-95 employment growth of 469 jobs (4.2%). Predominantly a service-producing county and dependent upon tourism, all divisions showed modest employment gains except for a mining loss in Park county.

Teton county ((see Table 87; Southwest Region) recorded the third highest 1994-95 annual monthly employment gain of 434 jobs (3.3%). Teton county is very dependent upon tourism and is highly influenced by bonuses and/or executive pay. Bonuses were paid in excess of $10 million in 1995.

In the Southeast Region, Laramie (see Table 92) and Albany (see Table 90) counties placed fourth and fifth among the counties for 1994-95 employment growth of 332 (1.0%) and 328 jobs (2.5%), respectively. Most of Laramie's and Albany's growth were in the service-producing sector, mainly in the services and retail trade divisions. Retail trade, services, local government, and state government are the largest industrial divisions in Laramie and Albany counties.

Five counties posted employment losses during the 1994-95 time period. Sweetwater (see Table 86; Southwest Region), Hot Springs (see Table 74; Northwest Region), Carbon (see Table 96; Central Region), Johnson (see Table 80; Northeast Region), and Sublette counties (see Table 85; Southwest Region) suffered 1994-95 employment losses of 297 jobs (-1.5%), 135 jobs (-6.5%), 97 jobs (-1.5%), 44 jobs (-1.8%), and 30 jobs (-1.5%), respectively.

Since 1987, total payroll has steadily increased as shown in Figure 1. Total payroll has ranged from a low $787,333,917 in first quarter 1987 to an all time high of $1,234,017,827 in the fourth quarter 1995. It was in fourth quarter 1981, with $1,007,741,108, that Wyoming's total payroll initially went over the billion dollar mark.

When the effect of inflation is removed ("deflated," via CPI-U), total payroll decreased in "real" dollar terms by $6.6 million (-0.2%) over the 1994-95 time period. In other words, there were additional "real" dollars coming out of consumer's pockets, or more pockets with less dollars per pocket. (The rate of inflation was 2.6 and 2.8 percent in 1994 and 1995.)

Geographically nonclassified jobs decreased in 1994-95 by 60 workers (-1.4%). Employment data are assigned a nonclassified geographic code if:

When employers complete the Multiple Worksite Report and/or physical location on the Industry Verification statement (please refer to Technical Appendix for further explanation), the geographic assignment of employment is more complete and valid.

Wyoming's employment (see Figure 2) and earnings growth is not distributed evenly geographically or industrially. Total payroll and employment in Wyoming does not appear to be affected by national economic activity. National economic indicators for 1995 have not yet been published but are due in late fall.

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