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

Wyoming Mining Continued Unemployment Insurance Claims by County: Maps Can Reveal More Information
by: Valerie A. Davis, Senior Statistician

The recent increases in the number of continued claims in the Mining industry have prompted much analysis(1). Unemployment Insurance (UI) continued claims in Mining show that out of 23 counties, 19 increased the number of continued claims in the Mining industry and two decreased over the previous year (from February 1998 and 1999; see Maps 1 and 2). Only two counties had the same number of continued claims for both years (no change).

The greatest increase occurred in Fremont County (+316), followed by Natrona (+263), Campbell (+261), Sweetwater (+177), Park (+152) and Uinta Counties (+142). The rest ranged from +2 to +53. Decreases occurred in Laramie (-60) and Converse Counties (-3).

Map 1 shows the percent of the total continued claims in Mining for February 1998 by county in Wyoming and Map 2 shows the same data for February 1999. These maps show that 15 counties are in the same relative position. For example, Niobrara County was in the group of counties with the lowest percent of claims in both February 1998 and 1999.

However, examination of the numbers related to these percent changes (i.e., the actual number of claims filed) in conjunction with maps like these would show a more complete picture of what is or is not occurring in the industry. For example, while we have just observed that most of Wyoming's counties are in the same relative position in terms of the percent of continued claims filed in February 1998 and 1999, Maps 1 and 2 do not indicate if the actual number of claims filed is remaining relatively constant over this time. In fact, the total number of continued claims in Mining filed statewide for these months were 1,438 and 3,318, respectively.

Each portion of the analysis of a complex, real-world subject such as Unemployment Insurance claims in the Mining industry is important. It yields interesting and valuable information about the subject at hand. However, as this article reminds us, each portion is just that; one more puzzle piece which is, by itself, less meaningful than when it is set against more of the pieces.

1 G. Lee Saathoff and Gregg Detweiler, "Afterword: Unemployment Insurance Claims in the Mining Industry," Wyoming Labor Force Trends, March 1999, p. 6.

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