© Copyright 2006 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 43 No. 3

Wyoming Job Growth Rises to 3.3% in January 2006

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist


Bolstered by employment gains in Natural Resources & Mining, Wyoming job growth rose to 3.3% in January 2006 (an increase of 8,300 jobs from a year earlier). In contrast, U.S. employment rose by 1.6%, less than half of Wyoming’s growth rate. The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 3.3% in December to 3.1% seasonally adjusted in January and remained well below U.S. unemployment of 4.7%.

From December 2005 to January 2006, employment fell by 5,700 jobs or 2.2%. This level of decrease is consistent with normal patterns associated with seasonal employment fluctuations. Seasonal job losses occurred in Construction (-1,300 jobs or -6.6%), Retail Trade (-1,300 jobs or -4.2%), Professional & Business Services (-300 jobs or -2.0%), Leisure & Hospitality (-700 jobs or -2.3%), and Government (-1,700 jobs or -2.6%).

From January 2005 to January 2006, Wyoming added 8,300 jobs or 3.3%. Natural Resources & Mining (including oil & gas) continued to dominate job gains (3,200 jobs or 15.2%). Construction employment also grew at a rapid pace, with 1,500 new jobs (8.8%). Other notable increases occurred in Retail Trade (400 jobs or 1.4%), Transportation & Utilities (700 jobs or 5.8%), Professional & Business Services (500 jobs or 3.4%), Educational & Health Services (400 jobs or 1.8%), and Leisure & Hospitality (700 jobs or 2.4%). Employment remained unchanged in the Manufacturing and Information industries.

County unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from December to January. Platte County posted the highest unemployment rate in January (6.1%), followed by Fremont (5.6%) and Big Horn (5.5%) counties. The lowest unemployment rate was found in Sublette County (2.0%) with the second lowest in Campbell County (2.9%).

Note: Through the annual benchmark process, employment levels for 2004 and 2005 have been revised to reflect more complete source data. Revised employment figures have been posted to our website at http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/ces/toc.htm and the ANSWERS website at http://doe.state.wy.us/ANSWERS/. Revisions to 2004 were very small. On an annual average basis, employment estimates for 2005 were revised upward by approximately 1,200 jobs or 0.5%.

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