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

0512_cover_smWyoming Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.3% in March 2012

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has reported that the state's seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate fell from 5.4% in February to 5.3% in March. Wyoming's jobless rate has decreased for seven consecutive months and is significantly lower than the current U.S. rate of 8.2%. Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents was basically unchanged from February to March, but increased significantly from a year earlier (a gain of 5,532 individuals, or 1.9%).

Most county unemployment rates remained fairly stable from February to March. Jobless rates edged upward in Big Horn (up from 6.6% to 7.0%) and Sublette (up from 3.2% to 3.5%) counties while decreasing slightly in Johnson (down from 7.8% to 7.3%), Platte (down from 6.5% to 6.1%), Hot Springs (down from 5.3% to 5.0%), and Fremont (down from 7.4% to 7.1%) counties.

Sublette County reported the lowest jobless rate in March (3.5%). It was followed by Campbell (4.6%), Albany (4.7%), and Converse (4.8%) counties. The highest unemployment rates were found in Lincoln (8.9%), Johnson (7.3%), and Sheridan (7.2%) counties.

Compared to a year earlier, unemployment rates fell in most counties, suggesting modest improvement in the state's economy. The largest decreases occurred in Johnson (down from 9.0% to 7.3%), Big Horn (down from 8.6% to 7.0%), and Natrona (down from 6.6% to 5.3%) counties.

Total nonfarm employment (measured by place of work) increased from 278,000 in March 2011 to 280,400 in March 2012, a gain of 2,400 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.