The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate fell from 4.7% in October to 4.5% in November (not a statistically significant change). Wyoming’s unemployment rate was unchanged from its November 2013 level of 4.5%, and significantly lower than the current U.S. unemployment rate of 5.8%. Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents increased slightly, rising by an estimated 670 individuals (0.2%) from October to November.
Most county unemployment rates changed very little from October to November. One exception to this pattern was Teton County, where unemployment rose from 5.2% to 7.9%. It is normal for unemployment to increase in November in Teton County as the summer tourist season has ended and the ski season has not begun. Park County, another tourism dependent county, saw its unemployment rate increase from 4.5% to 5.1%.
From November 2013 to November 2014, unemployment rates decreased in 17 counties, increased slightly in 5 counties, and remained unchanged in Albany County. The largest decreases occurred in Platte (down from 4.8% to 4.0%), Johnson (down from 5.2% to 4.6%), Uinta (down from 4.4% to 3.9%), and Niobrara (down from 3.8% to 3.3%) counties. Unemployment rates rose slightly in Laramie (up from 4.3% to 4.6%), Washakie (up from 4.1% to 4.4%), and Weston (up from 3.6% to 3.9%) counties.
Most of the counties with the lowest unemployment rates in November were found in the eastern part of the state where energy development activity has grown in recent years. Converse County had the lowest unemployment rate (2.8%), followed by Campbell (3.0%), Sublette (3.2%), and Niobrara (3.3%) counties. Several of the areas with the highest unemployment rates were found in western Wyoming: Teton (7.9%), Fremont (5.2%), Lincoln (5.1%), and Park (5.1%) counties.
Total nonfarm employment (measured by place of work) rose from 290,300 in November 2013 to 293,000 in November 2014, a gain of 2,700 jobs (0.9%).
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.