Wyoming Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.9% in June 2011

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

According to the Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, the state's seasonally adjusteda unemployment rate fell from 6.0% in May to 5.9% in June. Wyoming's unemployment rate has been steadily decreasing since December 2009, when it was 7.7%. It is significantly lower than its year-ago level of 7.0% and the current U.S. rate of 9.2%. Seasonally adjusted employment fell slightly from May to June (down an estimated 413 individuals, or 0.1%).

Lincoln County posted the highest unemployment rate in June (7.3%). It was followed by Fremont and Big Horn counties (both 6.7%) and Laramie County (6.6%). Sublette County reported the lowest unemployment rate (3.3%), a position it has held for 13 consecutive months. Three other counties had unemployment rates lower than 5.0% (Campbell, 4.4%; Niobrara, 4.8%; and Converse, 4.9%).

From May to June, most unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and decreased. Teton County's unemployment rate dropped from 9.2% in May to 5.2% in June as the summer tourist season got into full swing. Lincoln County's rate fell from 8.6% to 7.3%, Park County's rate fell from 6.1% to 5.1%, and Carbon County's rate fell from 6.6% to 5.8%.

From June 2010 to June 2011 unemployment rates decreased in every county. The largest decreases occurred in energy-dependent counties. Uinta County's jobless rate fell from 7.0% to 5.3%, Campbell County's rate fell from 5.9% to 4.4%, and Sweetwater County's rate fell from 6.5% to 5.1%. Total nonfarm employment increased to 298,700 in June, a gain of 6,900 jobs (2.4%) from its year-ago level. Despite this increase, employment was still down 9,400 jobs (or 3.1%) from June 2008.

aSeasonal 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.