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

Wyoming Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.7% in October 2011

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services has reported that the state's seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate edged downward from 5.8% in September to 5.7% in October. Wyoming's jobless rate has remained between 5.7% and 5.9% in each of the past five months. It decreased considerably from its October 2010 level of 6.6% and remained significantly lower than the current U.S. rate of 9.0%. Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents increased by an estimated 776 individuals (0.3%) from September to October.

Teton County posted the highest unemployment rate in October 2011 (7.8%). The next highest rates were found in Lincoln (6.6%), Fremont (6.2%), and Sheridan & Laramie (both 6.1%) counties. The lowest unemployment rates occurred in Sublette (2.8%), Albany (3.9%), and Campbell (4.0%) counties.

From September to October, most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased. As fall weather sets in, employment tends to decrease in construction, professional & business services, and leisure & hospitality. The largest over-the-month increase in unemployment occurred in Teton County, where the jobless rate rose from 5.1% to 7.8%. Unemployment normally rises in Teton County each October as the summer tourist season ends and before the winter season begins. Washakie County and Goshen County both saw slight decreases in their unemployment rates, possibly reflecting seasonal job gains associated with sugar beet harvesting and processing.

Jobless rates fell from October 2010 to October 2011 in every county, perhaps indicating that many areas of the state are benefiting from a gradual economic recovery. Natrona County posted the largest decrease, falling from 6.5% to 5.3%. Large decreases were also seen in Sweetwater (down from 5.4% to 4.4%), Teton (down from 8.8% to 7.8%), and Carbon (down from 6.6% to 5.6%) counties.

Total nonfarm employment (measured by place of work) rose from 287,400 in October 2010 to 292,500 in October 2011, an increase of 5,100 jobs (1.8%).

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.