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

December News
by: David Bullard, Economist

"... the seasonal increase in unemployment from November to December was smaller than normally expected."

Nonagricultural employment continues to grow at a faster pace than earlier in the year. The December estimates show over-the-year growth of 2,500 jobs or 1.1 percent. U.S. nonagricultural employment growth appears to have stabilized at 2.3 percent. The six-month moving average of Wyoming employment growth has moved up to just under one percent.

Construction employment was especially high for December (up 4.8% over the year) possibly because of unseasonably warm weather. Business Services, which includes such diverse firms as temporary employment services and computer related services, had an increase of 400 jobs (6.9%) over the year. The two industries showing over-the-year declines in employment were Electric, Gas, & Sanitary Services (down 100 jobs, or 3.1%) and Federal Government (down 300 jobs, or 4.5%).

While the U.S. unemployment rate continued to fall, the Wyoming rate increased slightly in December to 4.6 percent. However, Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 4.8 percent in November to 4.5 percent in December, suggesting that the seasonal increase in unemployment from November to December was smaller than normally expected.

New Population Estimates Released by Census Bureau

The United States' Census Bureau recently released state population estimates for July 1998. In contrast to the 1997 estimates, which showed Wyoming’s population declining, the 1998 estimates show a slight increase of 864 residents or 0.2 percent. However, the pattern of negative net domestic migration which we saw in 1997 continued, with 2,204 more people moving out of Wyoming than moving in during the one-year period from July 1997 to July 1998. For more information, visit the Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/).

Coming in Wyoming Labor Force Trends

A five-part series analyzing labor force attachment in Wyoming. March featured individuals who separate from the labor force (i.e, work for a certain time period and then cease to work in Wyoming), April studied individuals who are attached to the Wyoming labor force but have high rates of turnover, May analyzed individuals who are attached to the labor force through one employer, June will look at the overall turnover and job flow rates employers experience in Wyoming and July will look at individuals that were not previously in the Wyoming labor market.

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