Copyright 1999 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

Covered Employment and Wages for Second Quarter 1998
by: Gayle C. Edlin

"Statewide, total payroll increased 5.7 percent from second quarter 1997 to 1998 and the average weekly wage increased by $16 ..."

Wyoming's employment typically increases during the second quarter of the year (see Table 1). Levels in 1998 have risen from a low of 209,546 in February (historically the month of lowest employment in Wyoming) to 231,349 in June (generally the month of highest employment). When the monthly levels of 1997 are compared to those of 1998, employment has been 3,000 to 5,000 higher this year than last. In fact, average monthly employment for second quarter 1998 was 4,797 higher than in 1997 (see Table 2). This 2.2 percent increase was nearly double that which occurred from second quarter 1996 to 1997 (1.2%; refer to the January 1998 issue of Wyoming Labor Force Trends).

Of the twelve major industries, only State and Federal Government saw decreases in average monthly employment from second quarter 1997 to 1998 (see Table 2). State Government was down 98 workers (-0.8%) and Federal Government barely registered a decrease with 11 fewer workers (-0.2%). The largest numeric gain in workers from second quarter 1997 to 1998 occurred in the Services industry (1,733 workers), followed by an increase in the Construction industry (1,216). Since the Construction industry is only about one-third the size of the Services industry in Wyoming, its gain was more impressive in terms of percent change (8.0% versus 3.7%). Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate (FIRE), one of Wyoming's smallest industries, saw a 5.7 percent increase in employment, even though the 461 workers this industry gained was only a fraction of the numeric gains in the Services and Construction industries.

The Services industry also had the largest numeric gain in total payroll from second quarter 1997 to 1998 ($15,232,207), with Construction a close second ($13,260,088). However, due again to the relative sizes of the different industries, Construction saw the largest percent change in total payroll (14.0%), followed by FIRE (10.4%), Agriculture (8.2%) and Services (7.4%). Average weekly wages improved by $30, $27 and $26 for workers in the Federal Government, Construction and Wholesale Trade industries, respectively, though Agriculture's $17 gain represented the largest percent change in wages (6.1%).

Statewide, total payroll increased 5.7 percent from second quarter 1997 to 1998 and the average weekly wage increased by $16 (see Table 3). Total payroll improved from the 4.9 percent increase that occurred from second quarter 1996 to 1997 and the average weekly wage gained exactly the same amount (refer to the January 1998 issue of Wyoming Labor Force Trends).

Only four of Wyoming's counties saw decreases in average monthly employment from second quarter 1997 to 1998. The largest numeric decline occurred in Carbon County (-119 workers), followed by Lincoln County (-89 workers), Crook County (-32 workers) and Johnson County (-1 worker). Each of these decreases represented a very small percent change in employment (less than 2%). Two counties had numeric increases in average monthly employment of more than 500; Natrona County gained 735 workers and Sweetwater County was up 685 workers from second quarter 1997 to 1998.

Six counties (Hot Springs, Park, Crook, Weston, Sublette and Carbon) had lower total payrolls in second quarter 1998 than 1997. The largest numeric declines occurred in Carbon and Crook Counties (-$1,211,393 and -$712,217, respectively). The largest percent decreases occurred in Crook and Hot Springs Counties (-6.6% and -6.2%, respectively). These same six counties had lower average weekly wages in second quarter 1998 than 1997. The largest numeric decreases occurred in Hot Springs and Crook Counties (-$25 and -$22, respectively); these two counties had the largest percent declines in average weekly wage as well.

The largest increases in total payroll from second quarter 1997 to 1998 occurred in the two most populous counties, Laramie and Natrona, which increased $16,056,247 and $9,838,179, respectively. However, Teton and Platte Counties took the highest honors in terms of percent change in total payroll, up 9.8% and 8.8%, respectively. The greatest gains in average weekly wage were made in Laramie County (up $30 from second quarter 1997 to 1998), with Campbell and Teton Counties coming in second (up $25 each). In the case of average weekly wage, percent increases followed numeric increases in the top two spots; Laramie County saw increases in average weekly wage of 6.9 percent and Teton County's wages were up 6.4 percent.

Gayle C. Edlin is an Economist and Editor of Wyoming Labor Force Trends. She recently returned to work at Research & Planning after the birth of her daughter.


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These pages designed by Gayle C. Edlin.
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