© Copyright 2001 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

Covered Employment and Wages for Second Quarter 2000, Part 1: Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

"It appears that coal bed methane exploration and production is having a large positive effect on employment in Wyoming's Mining industry."

Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered employment1 increased by 5,903 jobs or 2.6 percent during the second quarter of 2000 compared to second quarter 1999. This employment increase of 2.6 percent is significantly higher than the five-year average growth of 1.6 percent (see Table 1). Total payroll increased by 7.3 percent, well above the five-year average of 4.8 percent. Average weekly wage increased by $22 or 4.6 percent, above its five-year average of 3.1 percent. This large increase in average weekly wage exceeded the inflation rate of 3.7 percent, resulting in real wage growth for Wyoming workers.2

Statewide Employment and Wages by Industry

Table 2 shows that the industries which created the largest number of jobs in second quarter were Services (1,326 jobs or 2.6%), Retail Trade (1,161 jobs or 2.5%) and Mining (1,155 jobs or 7.5%). Federal Government employment increased by 716 jobs or 10.0 percent as temporary workers were hired to conduct the 2000 Census.

Employment gains in Services were seen throughout the industry. The fastest job growth occurred in health services, social services and engineering & management services. After growing steadily for the past several years, hotels & other lodging places showed no growth during the second quarter.

Within Retail Trade, employment gains were not widespread, but concentrated in a relatively small number of industries. Practically all the job gains occurred in eating & drinking places and miscellaneous retail (the industry which includes catalog and mail-order houses).

Oil & gas extraction was responsible for nearly all the employment increase in the Mining industry. It appears that coal bed methane exploration and production is having a large positive effect on employment in Wyoming’s Mining industry.

Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities (TCPU) was the only industry experiencing a decrease in employment during the second quarter. Employment fell by 146 jobs or 1.3 percent. The largest part of this decrease occurred in electric, gas, & sanitary services.

Table 2 shows that the average weekly wage increased by $22 or 4.6 percent during second quarter. The industries with the fastest growing wages were Services ($30 or 8.1%), Manufacturing ($41 or 6.7%), Construction ($34 or 6.4%) and Agriculture ($21 or 6.7%). Average weekly wage increased in every industry except Federal Government, where wages fell by $3 or 0.5 percent.

Employment by Region and County

The Northeast Region continued to grow faster than other areas of the state, gaining 1,494 jobs or 4.3 percent (see Table 3). Campbell County grew by 1,013 jobs or 5.8 percent because of large gains in the Mining industry. Crook County added 133 jobs for a growth rate of 7.0 percent. Employment grew by 252 jobs or 2.3 percent in Sheridan County, with particularly strong growth in Construction.

The Southeast Region added 1,564 jobs or 2.7 percent during second quarter 2000. Laramie County was responsible for the vast majority of the region’s job growth, adding 1,351 jobs or 3.8 percent. In Laramie County, employment was pushed up by strong growth in Federal Government, Local Government and Retail Trade. Job gains were also seen in Services and TCPU. Platte County’s job growth (139 jobs or 4.1%) was mainly in Construction and Retail Trade.

The Central Region gained 925 jobs or 2.2 percent in second quarter. Natrona County grew by 610 jobs or 2.0 percent as a result of large gains in Mining, Retail Trade and Services. Federal Government also grew in Natrona County as temporary workers conducted the census. Converse County added 264 jobs or 6.2 percent, with most of the growth found in Construction and Retail Trade.

In the Southwest Region, significant job gains in Teton and Sublette counties were offset by job losses in Sweetwater, Lincoln and Uinta counties, resulting in an overall gain of 441 jobs or 0.9 percent. Teton County gained 948 jobs or 6.2 percent with the largest employment increases in Construction and Services. Sublette County added 82 jobs or 3.9 percent during second quarter. Employment fell by 510 jobs or 2.6 percent in Sweetwater County as a result of job losses in Mining, Construction and TCPU.

The Northwest Region was the slowest growing area of the state, adding 251 jobs or 0.7 percent. Job gains in Big Horn, Fremont and Hot Springs counties were partially offset by losses in Park and Washakie counties. Big Horn County added 223 jobs or 5.7 percent because of an expanding Mining industry. Employment decreased slightly in Park County (-56 jobs or -0.5%) as small job losses were seen in many industries (e.g., Local Government, Construction and Wholesale Trade).

For more detailed tables on second quarter covered employment and wages, visit our Internet site at: http://doe.state.wy.us/lmi/00Q2_202/toc.htm.

1Approximately 85-90 percent of all workers in Wyoming are covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI). Some exceptions include the self-employed and many agricultural workers.

2Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U), was 3.7 percent for the twelve-month period ending in June 2000.

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