© Copyright 2003 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

Wyoming Unemployment Falls in January
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 4.4 percent in December to 4.0 percent in January, and remained well below the U.S. unemployment rate of 5.7 percent. Wyoming job growth continued at a slow pace (1,500 jobs or 0.6%), mainly because of job losses in Mining and Manufacturing. In contrast, the U.S. lost jobs on an over-the-year basis
(-0.1%) as the nation struggled with recession.

From December to January, Wyoming lost 5,900 jobs or 2.4 percent. However, a decrease of this magnitude is seen most years as seasonal jobs are lost in many sectors of the economy. This year, Construction employment fell by 1,700 jobs or 8.6 percent, Retail Trade fell by 900 jobs or 3.0 percent, Professional & Business Services fell by 600 jobs or 4.0 percent, Leisure & Hospitality fell by 800 jobs or 2.9 percent, and Government fell by 1,000 jobs or 1.6 percent.

When compared to January 2002, Wyoming employment grew by 1,500 jobs or 0.6 percent. During the past six months, over-the-year employment growth has ranged from 0.0 to 0.7 percent. Significant job losses were seen in Natural Resources & Mining (-1,100 jobs or –6.0%) and Manufacturing (-200 jobs or –2.1%). Modest job gains occurred in Construction (400 jobs or 2.3%), Retail Trade (500 jobs or 1.7%), Financial Activities (400 jobs or 4.2%), Education & Health Services (600 jobs or 3.1%), and Government (800 jobs or 1.3%).

Across Wyoming’s counties, unemployment rates were mixed in January. Unemployment increased in 9 counties, decreased in 12, and was unchanged in 2 counties (when compared to January 2002). Unemployment fell from 7.4 percent to 5.5 percent in Carbon County and from 6.2 percent to 4.6 percent in Hot Springs County. Niobrara County and Campbell County both experienced significant increases in unemployment.


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