© Copyright 2007 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 44 No. 3

Wyoming Unemployment Falls to 2.6% in January 2007

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 2.6% in January 2007, its lowest level since 1979. It remained well below the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.6%. Wyoming job growth continued at a healthy pace (up 9,600 jobs or 3.7% from January 2006), while U.S. job growth was much slower (1.6%).

From December to January, the number of jobs in Wyoming decreased by 6,500 or 2.3%. This represented a normal seasonal decrease as Mining and Construction activity slowed with the onset of colder weather and Retail Trade employment fell with the end of the holiday shopping season. Natural Resources & Mining (including oil & gas) lost 700 jobs or 2.5%, Construction employment fell by 1,800 jobs or 7.8%, Retail Trade employment fell by 1,200 jobs or 3.8%, and Government employment fell by 1,500 jobs or 2.2%.

Over the year Wyoming gained 9,600 jobs or 3.7%. Natural Resources & Mining (including oil & gas) continued to dominate the job gains (2,600 jobs or 10.6%) and it was followed by Construction (1,200 jobs or 5.9%) and Professional & Business Services (1,200 jobs or 7.8%). Notable job growth also occurred in Wholesale Trade (500 jobs or 6.4%); Transportation, Warehousing, & Utilities (700 jobs or 5.3%); Educational & Health Services (800 jobs or 3.6%); Leisure & Hospitality (600 jobs or 2.0%); Other Services (500 jobs or 4.9%); and Government (including public schools and hospitals, 1,000 jobs or 1.5%). Information was the only major sector in which employment fell from January 2006 to January 2007 (-100 jobs or -2.3%).

County unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from December to January. Sublette (1.9%), Campbell (2.4%), Teton (2.6%), and Sweetwater (2.8%) counties posted the lowest unemployment rates in January. The highest rates were found in Platte (5.5%), Fremont (5.2%), and Big Horn (4.8%) counties.