© Copyright 2001 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

Covered Employment and Wages for Third Quarter 2000, Part 1: Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

"Only two major industries experienced a decrease in employment during the third quarter. Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities fell by 145 jobs or 1.3 percent and Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate fell by 72 jobs or 0.9 percent."

Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered employment1 increased by 5,230 jobs or 2.3 percent during the third quarter of 2000 compared to third quarter 1999. Third quarter’s employment increase is significantly higher than the five-year average growth of 1.6 percent (see Table 1). Total payroll increased by 3.7 percent, below the five-year average of 5.3 percent. The average weekly wage increased by $7 or 1.4 percent, well below its five-year average of 3.6 percent. It appears that some of the slowdown in wage growth during third quarter 2000 was related to large one-time bonus payments made during third quarter 1999 in Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate (FIRE) in Teton County. Periodically, a change in Teton County can affect the state total wage and salary growth in ways that can lead to misinterpretation of overall change affecting the state.

Statewide Employment and Wages by Industry

Table 2 shows that the industries which created the largest number of jobs in third quarter were Retail Trade (1,432 jobs or 3.0%), Mining (1,285 jobs or 7.9%) and Local Government (1,149 jobs or 3.8%).

Within Retail Trade, employment gains were concentrated in a relatively small number of industries. Practically all the job gains occurred in department stores, eating & drinking places and miscellaneous retail (the industry which includes catalog and mail-order houses).

Oil & gas extraction was responsible for nearly all the employment increase in the Mining industry. It appears that higher oil and gas prices as well as coal bed methane exploration and production have resulted in rapid employment growth in Wyoming.

Only two major industries experienced a decrease in employment during the third quarter. Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities (TCPU) fell by 145 jobs or 1.3 percent and FIRE fell by 72 jobs or 0.9 percent. Within TCPU, job gains in air transportation were more than offset by losses in trucking & warehousing, transportation services, and electric, gas & sanitary services. In FIRE, gains in depository institutions were more than offset by losses in real estate and holding companies.

Employment by County

Laramie County (see Table 3) added the largest number of jobs during third quarter (1,189 or 3.3%). A significant part of this gain was in state and local government, including education and healthcare. Other industries which grew in Laramie County were Manufacturing, TCPU and Retail Trade. Construction employment decreased when compared with third quarter 1999.

Campbell County added 924 jobs or 5.2 percent making it the fastest growing county (in percentage terms). Well over half of the new jobs were in Mining, including oil & gas extraction. Local Government, Retail Trade and Services also had significant job gains in third quarter.

Teton County grew by 4.4 percent or 831 jobs in third quarter. The majority of job growth was found in Construction and Retail Trade. Employment in hotels & lodging places may have fallen because of tourist concerns over forest fires in the West.

Albany County gained 480 jobs or 3.5 percent during third quarter. The largest increase was seen in Construction, which added over 250 jobs. Employment also increased in State Government and Retail Trade.

Natrona County grew somewhat slower than the state, adding 349 jobs or 1.1 percent. Job gains in Mining, Wholesale Trade, Retail Trade and Services were partially offset by losses in Construction and TCPU.

Employment fell in 7 of Wyoming’s 23 counties during third quarter. The largest decrease occurred in Sweetwater County where employment fell by 388 jobs or 2.0 percent. This decrease is the result of job losses in Mining and Construction.

Lincoln County’s employment fell by 325 jobs or 5.9 percent, mostly as the result of the completion of a construction project. Small job losses were also seen in Manufacturing, Retail Trade and Services.

Carbon County lost 178 jobs or 2.7 percent as small job gains in State and Local Government were more than offset by losses in Retail Trade, Manufacturing and TCPU.

Washakie County had job losses in many industries. Total employment fell by 107 jobs or 3.0 percent as jobs were lost in Mining, Manufacturing, TCPU and Retail Trade.

Niobrara County’s employment fell by 45 jobs or 5.6 percent during third quarter. This employment decrease is related to the closure of the Niobrara County Hospital in May 2000.

For more detailed tables on third quarter covered employment and wages, visit our Internet site at: http://lmi.state.wy.us/00Q3_202/toc.htm.

1Approximately 85-90 percent of all workers in Wyoming are covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI). Some exceptions include the self-employed and many agricultural workers.

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