In 1999, average annual Unemployment Insurance (UI ) covered employment of 224,946 in Wyoming increased by 1.9 percent (4,282 jobs) when compared to 220,664 in 1998 (see Table 1). Wyoming's employment maintains a continual increase from the "bust" year 1987 (when employment was lowest at 178,077) to the highest employment ever of 224,946 jobs in 1999--surpassing the 1981 "boom" employment high of 216,075 jobs.
The nation had an average annual wage of $33,313 in 1999, compared to a state average annual wage of $25,648 (a 29.9% difference of $7,665). According to the Average Annual Pay by State and Industry, 1999, just released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor, Wyoming ranked 45th in the average annual pay in 1999, although total payroll increased a vigorous 5.7 percent ($309.1 million) during the 1998-99 period in comparison to a $281.1 million (5.4%) increase from 1997 to 1998. The 1999 average annual wage of $25,648 corresponds to an increase of 3.6 percent ($903) from $24,745 in 1998, and tied 29th in the nation with Missouri and New York in percentage change from 1998 to 1999.
When the effect of inflation is removed ("deflated," via CPI-U), total payroll increased in real dollar terms by $113 million (3.4%) over the 1998-99 time period. The real average annual wage increased by $215 (1.4%), suggesting that the average annual wage is keeping up with the 1999 rate of inflation of 2.2 percent.
Employment by Industry
Service-producingindustries (TCPU; Wholesale and Retail Trade; FIRE; Services; State, Local, and Federal Government) dominate Wyoming's economic structure. Services, the largest division in the state (22.6% of Wyoming's employment, 50,849 jobs), continued to grow showing the largest employment gain of 2,744 jobs (5.7%) from 1998 to 1999. Within Services, business services gained 1,398 workers (21.3%), social services gained 402 workers (7.3%), amusement & recreation services gained 209 workers (7.8%), and engineering and other management services gained 200 workers (5.8%). Retail Trade, the second largest employment division (20.3% of Wyoming's employment, 45,747 jobs), gained a good 637 employees (1.5%). Within Retail Trade, eating & drinking places gained 303 jobs (1.8%), automotive dealers and service stations gained 172 jobs (2.2%), and miscellaneous retail gained 96 jobs (2.0%). Offsetting these gains, apparel & accessory stores suffered a loss of 103 jobs(-6.9%). Local Government, the third largest sector (15.5% of Wyoming's employment, 34,885 jobs) in the state, also gained a stark 466 jobs (1.4%). Within Local Government, educational services gained 443 jobs (2.3%) and executive, legislative, & general government gained 123 jobs (1.6%). Weakening these gains within Local Government, health services lost 74 workers (-1.4%). Transportation, Communications, and Public Utilities (TCPU), the seventh largest division (5.1% of Wyoming's employment, 11,374 jobs) within private industry, gained 268 workers (2.4%); Federal Government, the eleventh largest sector (3.4% of Wyoming's employment, 7,164 jobs) in the state, posted a 51 job gain (0.7%); and State Government, the sixth largest employment sector (5.2% of Wyoming's employment, 11,567 jobs), gained 20 workers (0.2%). Within TCPU, communications increased by 136 jobs (6.6%) and trucking and warehousing increased 96 jobs (2.7%), and electric, gas and sanitary services decreased by 89 jobs (-2.9%). Within Federal Government, environmental quality & housing gained 56 jobs (3.3%), and national security & international affairs lost 37 jobs (-4.2%). Within State Government, justice, public order, & safety gained 46 workers (5.0%), administration of economic programs lost 21 workers (-3.8%), and social services lost 17 workers (-2.7%). Both Finance, Insurance and Real Estate (FIRE), the ninth largest employment division (3.6% of Wyoming's employment, 8,037 jobs), posted a 508 job loss (-5.7%), and Wholesale Trade, the tenth largest division (3.4% of Wyoming's employment, 7,640 jobs), showed a 1.9 percent loss (-151 workers). Within FIRE, nondepository institutions gained 39 jobs (9.7%), insurance carriers lost 524 workers (-40.1%), and real estate lost 96 jobs (-5.1%). Within Wholesale Trade, durable goods lost 41 workers (-1.0%) and nondurable goods lost 110 workers (-3.2%).
The goods-producing industries (Construction, Mining, Manufacturing) showed an adequate employment increase overall of 521 jobs (1.2%). Construction, the fourth largest employment division (7.7% of Wyoming's employment, 17,294 jobs) within private industry, showed the second largest employment gain of all industries (1,311 jobs or 8.2%). Heavy contractors, except building gained 682 jobs (15.2%), special trade contractors gained 425 jobs (5.6%), and general building contractors gained 203 jobs (5.2%). Manufacturing, the eighth largest employment division (4.9% of Wyoming's employment, 11,039 workers) within private industry, posted a 107 job gain (1.0%) over the year. Significant job increases within Manufacturing included 116 in food & kindred products (12.0%), 107 in chemicals & allied products (6.2%), and 53 in fabricated metal products (8.9%). However; in Manufacturing, significant job losses occurred in rubber & miscellaneous plastics products with 139 (-37.2%), in industrial machinery & equipment with 90 (-8.1%), and in miscellaneous manufacturing industries with 46 (-20.9%). Mining, the fifth largest employment division (7.1% of Wyoming's employment with 15,939 jobs) in the state, lost 897 jobs (-5.3%) over the year. Coal mining was the only industry in Mining to have gained 114 jobs (2.5%). Oil & gas extraction lost 627 workers (-7.4%), nonmetallic minerals, except fuels lost 216 workers (-6.9%), and metal mining lost 168 workers (-24.4%) within Mining.
Geographically, all regions and businesses not classified by county demonstrated an average monthly employment growth between 1998 and 1999. With 25.6 percent of Wyoming's jobs (see map) the Southeast Region led the other regions in 1998-99 annual average monthly employment growth with a gain of 1,237 jobs (2.2%). Most of the Southeast Region's increase occurred in Laramie (15.8% of Wyoming's jobs) and Albany (6.2% of Wyoming's jobs) Counties. Retail Trade, Services, and Government are the largest industrial divisions in the Southeast Region. As Table 100 shows, most divisions, with the exception of FIRE, Wholesale Trade, Manufacturing, Mining, and Federal and State Governments, in the Southeast Region showed modest employment gains. A noneconomic code change from FIRE to business services in Services occurred in the Southeast Region.
The Northeast Region with 15.4 percent of Wyoming’s jobs showed a gain of 827 workers (2.5%). Most of the Northeast’s increase occurred in Campbell (7.7% of Wyoming’s jobs) and Johnson (1.2% of Wyoming’s jobs) Counties. Northeast Region's biggest economic components consist of Retail Trade, Services, Local Government, and Mining. Most of the divisions, with the exception of Federal and Local Governments and TCPU, in the Northeast Region posted good employment gains (see Table 64).
As shown in Table 1, generating 6.9 percent of Wyoming's jobs and 7.3 percent of Wyoming's total payroll, once again Teton County (Southwest Region) registered the highest 1998-99 annual monthly employment gain of 885 jobs (6.0%). Teton County is very dependent upon tourism and is highly influenced by executive pay and/or bonuses. Executive pay/bonuses in Teton County were paid in excess of $50 million in 1999.
Laramie County (Southeast Region) registered the second highest 1998-99 annual average monthly employment gain of 789 jobs (2.3%), and generates 15.8 percent of Wyoming's jobs with 15.5 percent of Wyoming's total payroll. Most of Laramie's growth (see Table 109) was in the Services, TCPU, Local Government, and Construction divisions. Services, Retail Trade, Government, and FIRE are the largest industrial divisions in Laramie County.
Five counties posted employment losses during the 1998-99 time period. In the Southwestern Region, Sweetwater County lost 432 jobs (-2.2%) and Uinta County lost 230 (-2.8%). Washakie County and Big Horn County in the Northeast Region suffered losses of 94 (-2.5%) and 26 jobs (-0.7%), respectively. Niobrara County suffered a 1998-99 employment loss of 12 jobs (-1.5%) in the Southeast Region.
In 1999, eight major industrial divisions were above the $25,648 statewide annual wage including: Mining, $49,049 (91% above state average); Federal Government, $38,209 (49% above state average); Transportation, Communications and Public Utilities (TCPU), $36,172 (41% above state average); FIRE, $34,393 (34% above state average); Manufacturing, $32,409 (26% above state average); Wholesale Trade, $31,623 (23% above state average); State Government, $29,349 (14% above state average); and Construction, $28,810 (12% above state average). Four industrial divisions were below the state annual wage in 1998, including: Retail Trade, $14,277 (-44.3% below state average); Agriculture, Forestry, & Fishing, $17,982 (-30% below state average); Services, $20,358 (-20.7% below state average); and Local Government, $24,058 (-6.2% below state average).
Detailed Two and Three-Digit Industry Annual Wages
The 1999 twenty highest detailed industry average annual wages in Wyoming included:
(1) Holding offices (SIC 671, FIRE), $313,329;
(2) Security & commodity brokers (SIC 621, FIRE), $85,619;
(3) Cable & other pay TV services (SIC 484, TCPU), 81,405;
(4) Administration of educational programs (SIC 941, Public Administration (PA))- Federal Government, $68,611;
(5) Natural gas liquids (SIC 132, Mining), $67,365;
(6) Central reserve depositories (SIC 601, FIRE)-Federal Government, $63,733;
(7) Regulation, administration of transportation (SIC 962, PA)-Federal Government, $62,946;
(8) International affairs (SIC 972, PA)-Federal Government, $62,775;
(9) Chemical & fertilizer minerals (SIC 147, Mining), $61,057;
(10) Industrial inorganic chemicals (SIC 281, Manufacturing), $60,885;
(11) Bituminous coal & lignite mining (SIC 122, Mining), $60,054;
(12) Public order & safety (SIC 922, PA)-Federal Government, $59,659;
(13) Services, Not Elsewhere Classified (SIC 899, Services)-Federal Government, $57,263;
(14) Electric services (SIC 491, TCPU), $56,574;
(15) Pipelines, except natural gas (SIC 461, TCPU), $55,574;
(16) Management & public relations (SIC 874, Services), $54,846;
(17) Courts (SIC 921, PA)-Federal Government, $52,734;
(18) Crude petroleum & natural gas (SIC 131, Mining), $52,306;
(19) Offices & clinics of medical doctors (SIC 801, Services), $51,292;
(20) Finance, taxation, & monetary policy (SIC 931, PA)-Federal Government, $50,058.
Comparably, the following are the 1999 twenty lowest detailed industry average annual wages in Wyoming:
(1) Motion picture theaters (SIC 783, Services), $5,967;
(2) Candy, nut, & confectionery stores (SIC 544, Retail Trade), $6,020;
(3) Bowling centers (SIC 793, Services), $7,190;
(4) Video tape rental (SIC 784, Services), $7,349;
(5) Women's accessory & specialty stores (SIC 563, Retail Trade), $7,422;
(6) Regulation of agricultural marketing (SIC 964, PA) – Local Government, $8,414;
(7) Children & infants' wear stores (SIC 564, Retail Trade), $8,456;
(8) Civic & social associations (SIC 864, Services)-Federal Government, $8,634;
(9) Retail bakeries (SIC 546, Retail Trade), $8,655;
(10) Eating & drinking places (SIC 581, Retail Trade), $8,909;
(11) Women's clothing stores (SIC 562, Retail Trade), $9,115;
(12) Variety stores (SIC 533, Retail Trade), $9,376;
(13) Services to buildings (SIC 734, Services), $9,535;
(14) Taxicabs (SIC 412, TCPU), $9,643;
(15) Miscellaneous personal services (SIC 729, Services), $10,100;
(16) Liquor stores (SIC 592, Retail Trade), $10,575;
(17) Retail nurseries & garden stores (SIC 526, Retail Trade), $10,777;
(18) Used merchandise stores (SIC 593, Retail Trade), $11,276;
(19) Horticultural specialties (SIC 018, Agriculture), $11,477;
(20) Meat & fish markets (SIC 542, Retail Trade), $11,462.
In 1999, wages were not equally dispersed among employees. The 1999 twenty highest detailed industry average annual wages in Wyoming posted only 16,307 jobs (7.3%) that earned $974,095,768 total wages (16.9%). Holding offices (SIC 671, FIRE) only had 133 workers in 1999! The opposite is true for the 1999 twenty lowest detailed industry average annual wages in Wyoming holding 21,432 jobs (9.5%) and earning $191,917,712 total wages (3.3%)! Eating & drinking places (SIC 581, Retail Trade) posted 17,003 jobs in 1999-more workers than the total of the twenty highest wages!
Geographically, only two Wyoming regions exceeded the 1999 Wyoming average annual wage of $25,648: Southwest Region with $28,404 and Northeast Region with $26,900. The Central Region with $25,290, Southeast Region with $23,930, and Northwest Region with $22,654 fell below the statewide average annual wage of $25,648.
Only five counties surpassed Wyoming's average annual wage: Sweetwater (Southwest Region) with $32,939; Campbell (Northeast Region) with $32,068; Teton (Southwest Region) with $26,943; Converse (Central Region) with $25,887; Natrona (Central Region) with $25,686. Niobrara (Southeast Region) with $18,030; Hot Springs (Northwest Region) with $18,809; Goshen (Southeast Region) with $19,445; and Johnson (Northeast Region) with $19,482 were Wyoming's lowest average annual wage by county in 1999. All counties' and regions' encountered average annual wage increases over 1998-99, except Washakie (Northwest Region) and Carbon (Central Region) Counties.
Employment and wage growth in Wyoming is not distributed evenly industrially or geographically. Wyoming's total wages and employment do not seem to be affected by national economic activity. However, Wyoming’s economy seems to be inching toward what the nation as a whole is doing economically.
Regional, county, and industry by SIC & NAICS changes can be found in Wyoming Labor Force Trends: first quarter 2000, October 2000; second quarter 2000, January 2001 issue; third quarter 2000, April 2001 issue; and fourth quarter 2000, July 2001 issue.
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