II. Highlights

Wyoming average annual monthly employment of 213,699 in 1996 showed a 1,481 jobs (0.7%) increase when compared to 212,217 in 1995 (see Table 1). A modest $144.1 million (3.0%) total payroll increase occurred over the 1995-96 period when compared to 1994-95 $121.0 million (2.6%) increase. The 1996 average annual wage of $22,870 increased from $22,351 in 1995. This increase of $519 (2.3%) suggests that the average annual wage has not kept up with the 1996 rate of inflation of 3.0 percent.

The nation had an average annual wage of $28,945 in 1996, compared to a state average annual wage of $22,870, a 26.6% difference of $6,075.

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 second largest 1995-96 employment gains of 990 jobs (2.2%). Retail trade, the second largest employment division within private industry (see Table 7), showed the third largest 1995-96 employment gain of 564 jobs (1.3%). Two private divisions in the service-producing sector declining in employment were transportation, communications, & public utilities and wholesale trade with losses of 196 jobs (-1.7%) and 83 jobs (-1.1%), respectively. Federal and state governments lost 195 jobs (-2.6%) and 32 jobs (-0.3%).

The goods-producing sector (construction, mining, manufacturing) showed a slight decline overall in the number of jobs worked. Mining, the fourth largest statewide employment division, continued to lose 1,063 jobs (-6.3%). Oil and gas extraction lost 305 jobs (-3.9%) and non-metallic minerals lost 821 jobs (-20.7%). Metal mining gained 5 jobs (0.8%) and coal mining gained 58 jobs (0.8%) within the mining division. Construction increased by a mere 38 jobs (0.3%). Special trade contractors lost 207 jobs (-3.0%); heavy construction, except building, increased by 239 jobs (6.2%); and general building contractors gained 5 jobs (0.2%). Manufacturing gained 1,071 jobs (11.0%). Significant job gains within manufacturing included 755 in chemicals and allied products (77.2%), 139 in industrial machinery and equipment (12.6%), 71 in primary metal industries (26.0%), and 60 in stone, clay, glass & concrete products (8.4%). However, significant job losses in manufacturing included 71 in food and kindred products (-4.4%) and 34 in lumber and wood products (-2.3%).

Geographically, three regions and nonclassified businesses by county showed average monthly employment growth between 1995 and 1996. The Northwest Region led the other regions in 1995-96 annual average monthly employment growth with a gain of 450 jobs (1.3%). Most of the Northwest Region's increase occurred in Fremont and Big Horn counties. Tourism, construction, manufacturing, and government play a big part in the Northwest region. All divisions, with the exception of government, transportation, finance, insurance & real estate, and agriculture, in the Northwest Region showed modest employment gains.

The Southeast Region posted a 421 job (0.8%) gain. 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 gained 183 jobs (1.0%). Most divisions, with the exception of transportation, finance, wholesale trade, and state and federal government, in the Southeast Region showed modest to good employment gains.

Two regions lost employment between 1995 and 1996. The Central region lost 418 jobs (-1.1%). Most of the Central region's decrease occurred in Natrona and Carbon counties. All divisions, with the exception of services, agriculture, and finance, in the Central region showed losses. The Southwest region lost 391 jobs (-0.8%). Southwest region's decrease entirely occurred in Sweetwater county. Once again, all divisions, with the exception of manufacturing, services, agriculture, and local government, in the Southwest region's employment dropped.

Tables comparing 1989-96 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, Albany county (Southeast Region) recorded the highest 1995-96 annual monthly employment gain of 293 jobs (2.2%). Most of Albany's growth (see Table 103) was in the service-producing sector, mainly in the retail trade, manufacturing and services divisions. Retail trade, state government, services, and local government are the largest industrial divisions in Albany county.

In the Northeast region, Campbell county placed second among the counties for 1995-96 employment growth of 252 jobs (1.6%). Predominantly a goods- producing county and dependent upon energy, all divisions showed modest employment gains except for finance and agricultural losses in Campbell county.

Fremont county (Northwest Region) recorded the third highest 1995-96 annual monthly employment gain of 203 jobs (1.6%). Most of Fremont's growth (see Table 52) were in the service producing sector mainly in the services and retail trade divisions.

In the Southeast Region, Laramie county placed fourth among the counties for 1995-96 employment growth of 165 (0.5%). Most of Laramie's (see Table 109) growth was in the service- producing sector, mainly in the local government, services, and retail trade divisions. Retail trade, services, local government, and state government are the largest industrial divisions in Laramie county.

Eight counties posted employment losses during the 1995-96 time period. Sweetwater (Southwest Region), Natrona (Central Region), Carbon (Central Region), Sheridan (Northeast Region), Goshen (Southeast Region), Weston (Northeast Region), Park (Northwest Region), and Crook counties (Northeast Region), suffered 1995-96 employment losses of 676 jobs (-3.4%), 302 jobs (-1.1%), 198 jobs (-3.0%), 87 jobs (-0.8%), 79 jobs (-2.0%), 59 jobs (-2.7%), 48 jobs (-0.4%), and 33 jobs (-1.7%), 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 $1,298,293,406 in the fourth quarter 1996. 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 increased in "real" dollar terms by $2.6 million (0.08%) over the 1995-96 time period. In other words, there were additional "real" dollars going into consumer's pockets, or more pockets with more dollars per pocket. (The rate of inflation was 2.8 and 3.0 percent in 1995 and 1996.)

Geographically nonclassified jobs increased in 1995-96 by 1,232 workers (29.8%). 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 1996 have not yet been published but are due in late fall.

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