Wyoming Unemployment Rate Unchanged at 6.0% in May 2011

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

According to the Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, the state's seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate in May was 6.0%, unchanged from a month earlier. It remained significantly below its May 2010 level of 7.1% and the U.S. unemployment rate of 9.1%. Seasonally adjusted employment increased by 1,062 people (or 0.4%) from April to May.

The highest county unemployment rates were found in the western and north central regions of the state. Teton County's unemployment rate was 9.2% and Lincoln County's was 8.6%. The next highest rates were reported in Big Horn and Johnson counties (both 6.9%). Sublette County posted the lowest unemployment rate (3.5%) followed by Niobrara (4.1%), Campbell (4.4%), and Albany (4.5%) counties.

From April to May, unemployment rates decreased in 18 counties and increased in 5 counties. Seasonal hiring in construction, leisure & hospitality, retail trade, and other sectors is often associated with decreasing unemployment in May. Teton County's unemployment rate fell from 13.0% in April to 9.2% in May, while more modest unemployment rate decreases were seen in Lincoln, Johnson, and Sheridan counties.

From May 2010 to May 2011 the unemployment rate fell in 22 counties and increased slightly in Hot Springs County (up from 5.1% to 5.3%). The largest decreases in unemployment occurred in two centers of energy developmentā€”Campbell (down from 6.4% to 4.4%) and Sweetwater (down from 6.5% to 4.8%) counties.

Total nonfarm employment increased to 289,100 in May, a gain of 4,300 jobs (1.5%) from its year-ago level.

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.

Last modified by Phil Ellsworth.