© Copyright 2009 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 46 No. 3

Wyoming Unemployment Rate Increases in January 2009

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 3.2% (as revised) in December to 3.7% in January. Despite rising a full percentage point from January 2008, it remained well below the U.S. rate of 7.6%. The over-the-year job growth rate slowed to 2.2% in January, down from 2.8% (as revised) in December.

From December to January, Wyoming lost 8,200 jobs (-2.7%), more than the normal seasonal pattern when employment falls by 6,200 jobs, making this January’s decrease somewhat larger than average. Usual seasonal job losses were seen in natural resources & mining (-500 jobs, or -1.7%), construction (-2,400 jobs, or -8.8%), retail trade (-1,300 jobs, or -3.9%), professional & business services (-800 jobs, or -4.4%), and government (-2,100 jobs, or -2.9%).

Over the year Wyoming added 6,200 jobs (2.2%). The largest job gains occurred in government (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals; 2,600 jobs, or 3.9%), natural resources & mining (1,600 jobs, or 5.7%), and educational & health services (1,200 jobs, or 5.1%). More modest gains were seen in leisure & hospitality (900 jobs, or 2.8%), wholesale trade (300 jobs, or 3.4%), and retail trade (300 jobs, or 0.9%). Construction employment fell by 800 jobs (-3.1%) and manufacturing employment fell by 300 jobs (-3.0%). Employment was unchanged in professional & business services and information.

County unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from December to January. Lincoln County posted the highest unemployment rate (7.0%), followed by Fremont (6.6%), Platte (6.3%), Big Horn (6.2%), and Park (6.1%) counties. Compared to a year earlier, unemployment rates increased in all 23 counties. Some of the largest increases were seen in Lincoln County (up from 3.5% in January 2008 to 7.0% in January 2009), Teton County (up from 2.3% to 5.0%), Carbon County (up from 3.7% to 5.6%), and Sheridan County (up from 3.7% to 5.6%).

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