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


Vol. 43 No. 5

Wyoming Unemployment Falls in March 2006

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist


Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 3.3% in February to 2.9% in March. This level of unemployment is the lowest Wyoming has seen since 1979. U.S. unemployment also fell from February to March (down from 4.8% to 4.7%) but remained much higher than in Wyoming. Job growth continued at a relatively rapid pace (up 8,700 jobs or 3.4% from March 2005) mostly because of employment gains in Natural Resources & Mining.

From February to March, Wyoming added 3,000 jobs (1.2%). This level of increase is consistent with seasonal patterns. Natural Resources & Mining (including oil & gas) added 300 jobs (1.2%), Construction added 300 jobs (1.6%), and Retail Trade added 400 jobs (1.4%). Government employment (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals) increased by 1,100 jobs or 1.7% from February to March.

From March 2005, employment increased by 8,700 jobs or 3.4%. As in previous months, the largest job gains were in Natural Resources & Mining (3,300 jobs or 15.3%). Construction employment grew by 800 jobs or 4.4%. Other notable increases occurred in Wholesale Trade (400 jobs or 5.3%), Retail Trade (400 jobs or 1.4%), Transportation, Warehousing, & Utilities (500 jobs or 4.1%), Leisure & Hospitality (500 jobs or 1.7%) and Government (1,700 jobs or 2.6%). Employment fell slightly in Information (-100 jobs or -2.3%).

Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and decreased from February to March. Washakie County was the only exception and its unemployment rate rose from 4.5% in February to 4.9% in March. Fremont County posted the highest unemployment rate (5.1%), followed by Big Horn and Washakie counties (both 4.9%).