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

Wyoming Unemployment Rate Falls in December
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

"Employment continued to grow relatively rapidly in December as 6,300 jobs were created in Wyoming for a growth rate of 2.7 percent."

Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 3.8 percent in November to 3.7 percent in December, its lowest level since 1980. It remained below the U.S. unemployment rate (4.0%) for the second month in a row.

Employment continued to grow relatively rapidly in December, as 6,300 jobs were created in Wyoming for a growth rate of 2.7 percent. In contrast, the U.S. employment growth rate fell from 1.6 percent in November to 1.5 percent in December.

Employment growth was seen in many industries. Compared to December 1999, the largest job gains came from Mining (1,100 jobs or 6.9%), Retail Trade (800 jobs or 1.7%), Services (1,400 jobs or 2.7%) and Government (1,500 jobs or 2.5%). Within Mining, oil & gas extraction posted the largest increase (1,300 jobs or 15.9%), while coal mining declined slightly (-200 jobs or -4.3%). Federal government and state government grew only slightly (100 and 300 jobs, respectively), but local government employment increased by 1,100 jobs or 2.8 percent. Local government is a large industry in Wyoming which includes school districts, community colleges, many hospitals and city and county governments.

Twenty Wyoming counties experienced a decrease in their unemployment rates from December 1999 to December 2000. Niobrara County’s unemployment rate increased from 2.2 percent in December 1999 to 4.2 percent in December 2000 (an increase of 25 individuals). Albany County and Goshen County had more modest increases (up 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively). Fremont County had the highest unemployment rate in December 2000, an estimated 6.8 percent, while Teton County had the lowest (1.6%).

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