© Copyright 2006 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 43 No. 4

Wyoming Job Growth Continues in February 2006

by: David Bullard, Senior Research Analyst

Wyoming employment continued to grow in February 2006, increasing by 8,700 jobs or 3.5% from February 2005. U.S. employment grew at a much slower pace (1.6%). Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.1% in January to 3.3% in February, but remained well below U.S. unemployment of 4.8%.

From January to February, Wyoming added 700 jobs or 0.3%. Seasonal job losses in Manufacturing (-200 jobs or -2.1%) and Retail Trade (-300 jobs or -1.0%) were more than offset by gains in Natural Resources & Mining (300 jobs or 1.2%) and Government (1,200 jobs or 1.8%). January’s estimate of Government employment was unusually low, and February’s figure represents a return to more normal levels.

From February 2005 to February 2006, Wyoming gained 8,700 jobs or 3.5%. Natural Resources & Mining (including oil & gas) posted the largest job gains (3,300 jobs or 15.5%) and Construction added 1,100 jobs or 6.4%. Almost all industry sectors added jobs from February 2005. Faster-than-average growth occurred in Wholesale Trade (400 jobs or 5.4%) and Transportation & Utilities (500 jobs or 4.1%), while more modest job gains were seen in Manufacturing (200 jobs or 2.2%), Professional & Business Services (300 jobs or 2.1%), Leisure & Hospitality (600 jobs or 2.1%), and Other Services (100 jobs or 1.0%). Employment fell slightly in Information (-100 jobs or 2.3%).

Across Wyoming’s 23 counties, most unemployment rates changed little from January to February. The largest increase in unemployment occurred in Goshen County (4.8% in January, 5.3% in February). Notable decreases occurred in Platte County (6.1% in January, 5.7% in February), Niobrara County (4.7% in January, 4.3% in February), and Weston County (4.7% in January, 4.4% in February). Sublette County continued to have the lowest unemployment rate (2.2% in February).

Note: Beginning this month, the Internet version of this release (found at http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/news.htm) will include tables showing employment by industry for Natrona County and Laramie County.