trends_flag Research and Planning r_and_p Department of Workforce Services State of Wyoming

Wyoming Jobless Rate Unchanged at 5.8% in December 2011

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has reported that the state's seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate was 5.8% in December 2011, unchanged from a month earlier. Wyoming's jobless rate has stayed between 5.7% and 5.9% since June 2011. However, it was considerably lower than its December 2010 level of 6.4% and significantly below the current U.S. rate of 8.5%. Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents rose for the fourth consecutive month, increasing by an estimated 782 individuals (0.3%) from November to December.

Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased slightly from November to December. As colder weather sets in, employment tends to decrease in construction, professional & business services, and other sectors. In contrast to the statewide trend, jobless rates decreased in Teton (down from 12.1% in November to 8.4% in December), Hot Springs (down from 5.0% to 4.6%), Natrona (down from 5.6% to 5.5%), and Albany (down from 4.2% to 4.1%) counties.

Sublette County posted the lowest unemployment rate in December (3.2%). It was followed by Albany (4.1%), and Campbell and Niobrara counties (both 4.2%). Many of the highest unemployment rates were found in the western part of the state. Teton County's jobless rate was 8.4%. The next highest unemployment rates were seen in Lincoln (8.0%), and Park and Fremont counties (both 6.9%).

Jobless rates fell from December 2010 to December 2011 in 22 of the state's 23 counties. The largest decreases occurred in Carbon (down from 7.5% to 6.3%), Hot Springs (down from 5.8% to 4.6%), and Johnson (down from 7.8% to 6.7%) counties. Goshen County's unemployment rate edged upward from 5.1% to 5.2%.

Total nonfarm employment (measured by place of work) rose from 282,600 in December 2010 to 289,000 in December 2011, an increase of 6,400 jobs (2.3%).

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.