© Copyright 2008 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 45 No. 3

Wyoming’s Unemployment Falls to 2.7% in January 2008

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 3.1% in December to 2.7% in January, its lowest level since 1979. U.S. unemployment fell slightly, decreasing from 5.0% in December to 4.9% in January, but remained much higher than Wyoming’s rate. Wyoming added 8,300 jobs compared to a year earlier, giving the state a growth rate of 3.0%. U.S. job growth continued to slow (0.7%).

From December to January employment fell by 6,500 jobs (-2.2%). This level of decrease is consistent with normal seasonal patterns. Winter weather, the end of the holiday shopping season, and semester break at colleges prompted employers to shed jobs. Seasonal job losses were seen in construction (-1,700 jobs, or -6.5%), retail trade (-700 jobs, or -2.2%), professional & business services (-500 jobs, or -2.8%), leisure & hospitality (-500 jobs, or -1.6%), and government (including public schools, colleges & hospitals; -2,000 jobs, or -2.9%).

From January 2007 to January 2008, employment rose by 8,300 jobs (3.0%). The largest job gains occurred in construction (2,000 jobs, or 8.9%) and transportation, warehousing, & utilities (1,200 jobs, or 8.7%). More modest job growth was seen in leisure & hospitality (800 jobs, or 2.6%), retail trade (700 jobs, or 2.3%), educational & health services (700 jobs, or 3.1%), wholesale trade (600 jobs, or 7.1%), natural resources & mining (600 jobs, or 2.2%), and government (600 jobs, or 0.9%). Employment fell slightly in the information sector (-100 jobs, or -2.5%) and remained unchanged in manufacturing.

Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from December to January. The highest rates were found in Big Horn (5.8%), Platte (5.4%), and Fremont (5.3%) counties. Sublette County posted the lowest unemployment rate (1.8%), followed by Teton County (2.3%) and Campbell County (2.5%).

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