The Decline in Teen Drivers: What it May Mean for Wyoming

Wyoming Youths: Population, Licensed Drivers, and Number Working at Any Time, 2000-2013

For several decades, obtaining a driver’s license represented a milestone in the lives of youths age 15-19. It was a goal towards which youths worked, which was rewarded with “freedom, independence, adventure, and responsibility” (Virginia DMV, n.d.). But that is changing among today’s youths, nationally and in Wyoming. Obtaining a driver’s license may no longer be a priority for many teens, and this trend has ramifications for employers, educators, business owners, and the general public, now and in the future.

Since 2000, the number and proportion of teenagers obtaining a driver’s license have declined substantially in Wyoming and across the U.S. This article examines local and national trends and provides rich detail about young drivers in Wyoming.

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Wyoming Occupational Fatalities Decrease to 26 in 2013

Wyoming Occupational Fatalities, 1992-2013

The Research & Planning (R&P) section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has reported that the number of occupational fatalities fell from 35 in 2012 to 26 in 2013, a decrease of nine deaths (-25.7%). On average, from 1992- 2013 there were 34 occupational fatalities each year.

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Wyoming Unemployment Rate Rises to 4.4% in July 2014

U.S. and Wyoming Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose from 4.0% in June to 4.4% in July 2014 (this is a statistically significant increase). It is normal to see some fluctuations in unemployment rates. After trending down for more than four years, the recent rise in unemployment is not corroborated by other labor market measures, such as claims for unemployment insurance benefits. Unemployment in Wyoming was slightly lower than its July 2013 level of 4.6% and significantly lower than the current U.S. unemployment rate of 6.2%.

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Table of Contents

September 2014, Vol. 51 No. 9

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