March 2010

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Labor Market Information


Wyoming Unemployment Rate Increases to 7.6% in January

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Employment has reported that the state’s seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate increased from 7.5% in December to 7.6% in January (not a statistically significant change). Despite this increase, Wyoming’s unemployment rate remained significantly lower than the U.S. rate (9.7%). The state’s labor force, or sum of employed and unemployed individuals, decreased slightly from a year earlier (an estimated -384 people, or -0.1%).

Over the year, employment decreased by 14,400 jobs (-5.0%). The largest job losses occurred in natural resources & mining (-4,700 jobs, or -16.1%) and construction (-2,800 jobs, or -12.3%). Employment also fell in leisure & hospitality (-1,900 jobs, or -6.1%), professional & business services (-1,400 jobs, or -8.1%), other services (-1,300 jobs, or -10.7%), retail trade (-1,200 jobs, or -3.9%), and transportation & utilities (-700 jobs, or -4.9%). Job gains were seen in educational & health services (400 jobs, or 1.6%) and government (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals; 600 jobs, or 0.9%).

From December to January Wyoming employment fell by 6,500 jobs (-2.3%). This level of decrease is consistent with normal seasonal patterns. Seasonal job losses were seen in construction (-1,100 jobs, or -5.2%), retail trade (-1,300 jobs, or -4.2%), professional & business services (-500 jobs, or -3.0%), leisure & hospitality (-400 jobs, or -1.4%), and government (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals; -2,500 jobs, or -3.4%).

Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from December to January. Lincoln County posted the highest unemployment rate (11.0%) followed by Big Horn (10.8%), Johnson (10.7%), and Fremont (10.3%) counties. The lowest unemployment rates were found in Albany (5.7%), Sublette (5.8%), and Goshen (6.8%) counties.

The Wyoming employment news release with February data is scheduled to be issued on March 30, 2010.

1    Seasonal adjustment is a statistical procedure to remove the impact of normal regularly recurring events (such as weather, major holidays, and the opening and closing of schools) from economic time series in order to obtain a better understanding of changes in economic conditions from month to month.

Last modified by Michael Moore.