© Copyright 2018 by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Research & Planning

Wyoming Unemployment Falls to 4.2% in December

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly from 4.3% in November to 4.2% in December (not a statistically significant change). Wyoming’s unemployment rate decreased significantly from its year-ago level of 4.8%, but remained slightly higher than the current U.S. rate (4.1%). The state’s labor force fell by 8,569 people (-2.8%) from December 2016 to December 2017, suggesting that individuals may have moved to other states or dropped out of the labor force.

Most county unemployment rates fell slightly from November to December. The largest decrease occurred in Teton County, where unemployment fell from 6.1% to 3.4%. This decrease was related to the start of the ski season and the associated increase in tourist activity. Unemployment rates also fell in Weston (down from 4.0% to 3.7%), Hot Springs (down from 3.7% to 3.4%), Washakie (down from 3.9% to 3.7%), Uinta (down from 4.3% to 4.1%), and Sweetwater (down from 4.2% to 4.0%) counties.

Unemployment rates fell from their year-ago levels in all of Wyoming’s 23 counties. The largest decreases were seen in areas of the state that had been affected by the downturn in energy prices in 2015 and 2016. Campbell County’s unemployment rate fell from 6.1% in December 2016 to 4.1% in December 2017. Unemployment decreased in Sublette County from 5.8% to 3.9%, and in Natrona County from 6.8% to 5.0%.

Niobrara County had the lowest unemployment rate in December (2.2%). It was followed by Goshen and Albany counties (both at 2.6%). The highest unemployment rates were found in Fremont (5.2%), Natrona (5.0%), and Park (4.6%) counties.

Total nonfarm employment (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) rose from 274,500 in December 2016 to 275,100 in December 2017, an increase of 600 jobs (or 0.2%; not a statistically significant change).

Research & Planning has scheduled the January employment news release for March 13, 2018.



Wyoming Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Labor Force Estimates
                                                                                           Change
                                                                                 Month                    Year
                                December-17  November-17  December-16     absolute     percent    absolute     percent
Total Civilian Labor Force          292,303      292,796      300,872        -493       -0.2%      -8,569       -2.8%
Employed                            279,958      280,305      286,333        -347       -0.1%      -6,375       -2.2%
Unemployed                           12,345       12,491       14,539        -146       -1.2%      -2,194      -15.1%
Unemployment Rate                       4.2          4.3          4.8

Definitions:
Employed All persons who, during the reference week, did any work at all as paid employees, worked in their own business, profession, or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in a family business.
Unemployed All persons who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week.
Labor Force All persons who meet the criteria given above as either employed or unemployed.
Unemployment Rate The number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.
Seasonal Adjustment A statistical procedure to remove the impact of normal regularly recurring events (such as weather, major holidays, and the opening and closing of schools) from economic time series to better understand changes in economic conditions from month to month.



Note Regarding Tables 1-3 Below

Not seasonally adjusted data reflect the actual economic conditions in a given area for a given time period. These data show the normal seasonal changes that occur in the economy. Most county unemployment rates are higher in the winter months because of seasonal job losses in construction, leisure & hospitality, and many other sectors. Similarly, most county unemployment rates are lower in the summer months as employment increases across the economy. Data users should use caution when comparing not seasonally adjusted data for different months, as at least part of the difference between months may reflect normal seasonal patterns.

In contrast, seasonally adjusted data have been subjected to a statistical procedure to remove the effects of normal changes that occur in the economy each year, such as seasonal hiring in the construction sector, the opening and closing of schools, and holiday hiring by retail trade establishments. There is no expectation that seasonally adjusted unemployment rates will be higher or lower in any particular month, except as the economy expands or contracts. The value of seasonally adjusted data is that it is easy to identify longer-term trends in the data and valid comparisons can be made between any two months in the series.

Research & Planning works in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to develop and publish unemployment rates for each county in Wyoming. However, these data are not seasonally adjusted and therefore reflect seasonal changes each month.


Table 1: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment
rates ranked from lowest to highest for December 2017


   County                             Rate*
Niobrara County, WY                    2.2
Albany County, WY                      2.6
Goshen County, WY                      2.6
Crook County, WY                       3.1
Hot Springs County, WY                 3.4
Teton County, WY                       3.4
Laramie County, WY                     3.5
Platte County, WY                      3.5
Washakie County, WY                    3.7
Weston County, WY                      3.7
Carbon County, WY                      3.8
Lincoln County, WY                     3.8
Johnson County, WY                     3.9
Sublette County, WY                    3.9
Wyoming                                3.9
Big Horn County, WY                    4.0
Converse County, WY                    4.0
Sheridan County, WY                    4.0
Sweetwater County, WY                  4.0
Campbell County, WY                    4.1
Uinta County, WY                       4.1
Park County, WY                        4.6
Natrona County, WY                     5.0
Fremont County, WY                     5.2

*preliminary


Table 2: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates over-the-month rate
changes ranked from lowest to highest for December 2017

                                 Month ago 	             Over-the-Month  Over-the-Month
    County                         rate           Rate*       Rate Change   Percent Change
Teton County, WY                    6.1            3.4            -2.7          -44.3%
Hot Springs County, WY              3.7            3.4            -0.3           -8.1%
Weston County, WY                   4.0            3.7            -0.3           -7.5%
Wyoming                             4.2            3.9            -0.3           -7.1%
Albany County, WY                   2.8            2.6            -0.2           -7.1%
Campbell County, WY                 4.3            4.1            -0.2           -4.7%
Carbon County, WY                   4.0            3.8            -0.2           -5.0%
Sweetwater County, WY               4.2            4.0            -0.2           -4.8%
Uinta County, WY                    4.3            4.1            -0.2           -4.7%
Washakie County, WY                 3.9            3.7            -0.2           -5.1%
Goshen County, WY                   2.7            2.6            -0.1           -3.7%
Laramie County, WY                  3.6            3.5            -0.1           -2.8%
Lincoln County, WY                  3.9            3.8            -0.1           -2.6%
Natrona County, WY                  5.1            5.0            -0.1           -2.0%
Niobrara County, WY                 2.3            2.2            -0.1           -4.3%
Park County, WY                     4.7            4.6            -0.1           -2.1%
Platte County, WY                   3.6            3.5            -0.1           -2.8%
Sublette County, WY                 4.0            3.9            -0.1           -2.5%
Converse County, WY                 4.0            4.0             0.0            0.0%
Big Horn County, WY                 3.9            4.0             0.1            2.6%
Crook County, WY                    3.0            3.1             0.1            3.3%
Fremont County, WY                  5.1            5.2             0.1            2.0%
Sheridan County, WY                 3.9            4.0             0.1            2.6%
Johnson County, WY                  3.7            3.9             0.2            5.4%

*preliminary



Table 3: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates over-the-year percent
changes ranked from lowest to highest for December 2017
 
                                   Year ago                       Over-the-Year   Over-the-Year
   County                            Rate             Rate*        Rate Change    Percent Change
Campbell County, WY                   6.1              4.1             -2.0           -32.8%
Sublette County, WY                   5.8              3.9             -1.9           -32.8%
Natrona County, WY                    6.8              5.0             -1.8           -26.5%
Converse County, WY                   5.6              4.0             -1.6           -28.6%
Johnson County, WY                    5.5              3.9             -1.6           -29.1%
Crook County, WY                      4.5              3.1             -1.4           -31.1%
Fremont County, WY                    6.5              5.2             -1.3           -20.0%
Sweetwater County, WY                 5.3              4.0             -1.3           -24.5%
Uinta County, WY                      5.3              4.1             -1.2           -22.6%
Wyoming                               5.0              3.9             -1.1           -22.0%
Hot Springs County, WY                4.3              3.4             -0.9           -20.9%
Platte County, WY                     4.4              3.5             -0.9           -20.5%
Weston County, WY                     4.6              3.7             -0.9           -19.6%
Niobrara County, WY                   3.0              2.2             -0.8           -26.7%
Laramie County, WY                    4.1              3.5             -0.6           -14.6%
Lincoln County, WY                    4.4              3.8             -0.6           -13.6%
Sheridan County, WY                   4.6              4.0             -0.6           -13.0%
Big Horn County, WY                   4.5              4.0             -0.5           -11.1%
Carbon County, WY                     4.3              3.8             -0.5           -11.6%
Park County, WY                       5.1              4.6             -0.5            -9.8%
Goshen County, WY                     3.0              2.6             -0.4           -13.3%
Washakie County, WY                   4.1              3.7             -0.4            -9.8%
Albany County, WY                     2.9              2.6             -0.3           -10.3%
Teton County, WY                      3.7              3.4             -0.3            -8.1%


*preliminary


Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
Research & Planning

January 23, 2018

Contacts:

David Bullard, Senior Economist, 307-473-3810

Carola Cowan, BLS Programs Supervisor, 307-473-3804


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