© Copyright 2008 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 45 No. 1

Natural Resources & Mining Employment Falls in November 2007

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

After four and a half years of consecutive growth, employment fell in November in Wyoming’s natural resources & mining sector (down 800 jobs, or -2.9%, from November 2006). It appears that natural gas drilling activity slowed substantially during 2007. Despite these job losses, overall employment has continued to grow at a robust pace (up 9,900 jobs, or 3.6%, from November 2006). In fact, Wyoming employment is increasing more than three times as fast as the U.S. average (3.6% compared to 1.0%). The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was unchanged from its October level of 2.9% and remained much lower than the U.S. rate (4.7%).

From October to November, employment fell by 3,800 jobs (1.3%). This level of decrease is consistent with normal seasonal patterns. Seasonal job losses occurred in construction (-700 jobs, or -2.5%), professional & business services (-900 jobs, or -4.8%), and leisure & hospitality (-2,300 jobs, or -7.1%). Employment fell by 600 jobs (-2.2%) in natural resources & mining (including oil & gas).

Over the year Wyoming gained 9,900 jobs (3.6%). Construction posted the largest job gains (2,900 jobs) and the fastest growth (11.9%) of the major sectors. Substantial job growth also occurred in transportation & utilities (1,100 jobs, or 8.0%), leisure & hospitality (1,100 jobs, or 3.8%), government (including public schools, colleges & hospitals; 1,100 jobs, or 1.6%), retail trade (1,000 jobs, or 3.2%), and educational & health services (900 jobs, or 3.9%). From November 2006 to November 2007, employment fell in natural resources & mining (-800 jobs, or -2.9%) and information (-200 jobs, or -4.8%).

County unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from October to November. The lowest unemployment rates were found in counties affected by energy development. Unemployment was 1.3% in Sublette County, 2.0% in Campbell County, and 2.1% in Sweetwater County.

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