© Copyright 2000 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

Wyoming Employment Growth Slows in March
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

"Large increases in Federal Government and Construction helped push Cheyenne employment up by 600 jobs or 1.7 percent."

After growing at a healthy pace in February, Wyoming employment growth slowed in March to 0.9 percent. Over the year, 2,100 new jobs were created in March, compared to a revised figure of 4,200 for February. In contrast, U.S. employment growth increased from 2.0 percent in February to 2.3 percent in March.

Industries with large employment gains included Construction (500 jobs or 3.4%), Services (700 jobs or 1.4%) and Mining (300 jobs or 2.0%). Government employment increased by 900 jobs or 1.5 percent as temporary workers were hired to help with Census 2000. Job losses were seen in Transportation & Public Utilities (300 jobs or 2.1 percent) and Trade (100 jobs or 0.2 percent).

Employment grew in Wyoming’s two metropolitan areas in March. Casper grew somewhat slower than the state, adding 200 jobs or 0.6 percent. Large increases in Federal Government and Construction helped push Cheyenne employment up by 600 jobs or 1.7 percent.

Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.0 percent, just below the national average of 4.1 percent. The number of unemployed individuals in Wyoming fell by 18.2 percent in March. This large decline also caused the labor force to fall (546 or 0.2%). Although labor force only fell slightly, this may indicate outmigration of Wyoming’s workforce to neighboring states where employment has been growing faster.

Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims continued their pattern of decline. Continued UI claims fell by 4,726 or 23.6 percent. The decrease in claims was widespread; 20 of Wyoming’s 23 counties had lower claims levels in March 2000 than March 1999. Big Horn, Crook and Goshen Counties experienced moderate increases in continued UI claims.

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