State Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 4.4% in December 2013
The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate1 was unchanged from November to December at 4.4%. Unemployment remained below its year-ago level of 4.9% and was significantly lower than the current U.S. unemployment rate of 6.7%. Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents rose slightly, increasing by 1,276 individuals (0.4%) from November to December.
Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from November to December. Employment tends to fall in December as colder weather sets in and seasonal job losses are seen in construction and professional & business services. Teton County was a notable exception to the statewide pattern. Its unemployment rate fell from 8.3% in November to 6.4% in December as the start of the ski season boosted employment.
Unemployment fell from December 2012 to December 2013 in every county, perhaps suggesting modest improvement in the state’s economy. The largest unemployment rate decreases were seen in Lincoln (down from 7.1% to 5.8%), Crook (down from 5.1% to 4.1%), Carbon (down from 5.2% to 4.2%), and Teton (down from 7.3% to 6.4%) counties.
The highest unemployment rates were found in Teton (6.4%), Lincoln (5.8%), Johnson (5.6%), and Park (5.6%) counties. Sublette County reported the lowest unemployment rate (3.2%). It was followed by Converse (3.3%), Albany (3.4%), and Campbell (3.5%) counties. Total nonfarm employment (measured by place of work) rose from 286,400 in December 2012 to 290,000 in December 2013, a gain of 3,600 jobs (1.3%).
1Seasonal adjustment is 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.