Labor Market Information > Wyoming Labor Force Trends > October 2011 > News Release

Wyoming Unemployment Rate Rises Slightly in August 2011

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has reported that the state's seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate increased slightly from 5.7% in July (as revised) to 5.8% in August (not a statistically significant change). Despite this increase, Wyoming's unemployment rate remained significantly lower than the current U.S. rate (9.1%). Seasonally adjusted employment continued its slight downward trend in August, decreasing by an estimated 749 individuals (-0.3%) from July.

The highest unemployment rates were found in Lincoln and Big Horn counties (both 6.9%), followed by Fremont County (6.7%). The lowest unemployment rates were reported in two counties with large concentrations of energy-related employment (Sublette, 3.2%; and Campbell 4.4%). Jobless rates also remained below 5.0% in Albany (4.9%), Niobrara (4.9%), Sweetwater (4.8%), Converse (4.8%), and Teton (4.5%) counties.

Across Wyoming's 23 counties, nearly all unemployment rates increased slightly from July to August. It is not unusual in recent years to see modest unemployment increases in August. Platte County's unemployment rate rose from 5.3% to 6.0% and Big Horn County's rate rose from 6.2% to 6.9%.

From August 2010 to August 2011 nearly all unemployment rates decreased, perhaps indicating that many areas of the state are benefiting from a gradual economic recovery. The counties with the largest decreases were found in the central and southern regions of the state. Carbon County's unemployment rate fell from 7.2% to 5.8%, Sweetwater County's unemployment rate fell from 6.2% to 4.8%, and Natrona County's unemployment rate fell from 7.0% to 5.7%. Crook County was the one area where unemployment remained unchanged from a year earlier (5.0%).

Total nonfarm employment stood at 298,000 jobs in August 2011, an increase of 9,100 jobs (3.1%) from August 2010 but down 100 jobs (0.0%) from the revised July 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.


(r) Revised.

(p) Preliminary.


Map: Unemployment Rate by Wyoming County, August 2011 (Not Seasonally Adjusted)


Last modified by Phil Ellsworth.