© Copyright 1999 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

January News
by: David Bullard, Economist

"The unemployment rate in Wyoming increased significantly to 5.9 percent in January ... "

Wyoming nonagricultural employment in January was 219,700, showing an over-the-year increase of 1,700 jobs or 0.8 percent. U.S. nonagricultural employment continues to grow at a slower rate (2.1%) than it did during most of 1997 and 1998. Careful readers will note that the Wyoming employment growth series in the graphic has changed significantly. Wyoming’s nonagricultural employment for 1997 and 1998 was recently revised during the annual benchmarking process. Most of the employment estimates were revised upward. The complete benchmarked series will be available in Wyoming Labor Force Trends later in the year.

Goods producing employment fell slightly (-0.5%), while the service producing sector increased by 1,900 jobs (+1.1%). Some of the largest gains were seen in Business Services (600 jobs or 10.5 %) and Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate (300 jobs or 3.6%). Over-the-year job losses were greatest in Oil & Gas Field Services (down 400 jobs or 6.3%) and Nonmetallic Mineral Mining (down 200 jobs or 6.3%).

The unemployment rate in Wyoming increased significantly to 5.9 percent in January from 4.6 percent in December, but the seasonally adjusted series showed only a slight increase from 4.5 to 4.6 percent. U.S. unemployment also rose significantly in January from 4.0 to 4.8 percent. The Wyoming labor force showed healthy gains over 1998, increasing by 5,971 individuals or 2.4 percent.

After nearly two years (23 months) of decreasing, continued UI claims showed an increase of 879 claims or 4.6 percent over the year. Initial claims, however, were down 12.3 percent over the year.

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