Copyright 2002 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

Wyoming Unemployment Rises in April
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 3.9 percent in March 2002 to 4.4 percent in April, and over-the-year job growth held steady at 1.5 percent. In contrast, U.S. unemployment rose to 6.0 percent and U.S. job growth was negative.

From March to April 2002, Wyoming gained 1,000 jobs or 0.4 percent. This is slightly lower than the 1,200 jobs gained from March to April 2001. Job growth in Construction (1,000 jobs), Retail Trade (400 jobs), and Services (200 jobs) was partially offset by job losses in Government (-800 jobs).

When compared to April 2001, Wyoming nonagricultural employment grew by 3,700 jobs or 1.5 percent. Large contributors to this growth were Construction (1,000 jobs or 6.0%), Services (2,100 jobs or 3.8%), and Government (600 jobs or 1.0%). Within Services, strong job gains appeared in auto & miscellaneous repair (400 jobs or 13.3%), amusement & recreation services (500 jobs or 16.7%), health services (600 jobs or 5.3%), and private social services (400 jobs or 6.3%). Mining added 300 jobs (1.6%) because of growth in coal mining. 

Over-the-year employment fell slightly in Manufacturing 
(-300 jobs or 2.7%), Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities (-200 jobs or 1.4%), and Retail Trade (-300 jobs or 0.7%). Within Retail Trade, job losses appeared in general merchandise stores (-100 jobs or 1.8%), food stores (-100 jobs or 2.0%), and miscellaneous retail stores (-100 jobs or 1.8%).

Reflecting a normal seasonal pattern, most county unemployment rates fell from March to April. Big Horn County experienced the largest decrease, falling from 6.7 percent in March to 5.4 percent in April. Unemployment also fell significantly in Hot Springs, Washakie, Lincoln, and Fremont counties.

Only three counties experienced rising unemployment in April. Teton County's unemployment rate rose from 3.1 percent in March to 5.1 percent in April. Unemployment typically peaks in April in Teton County as this month marks the changeover from the winter to summer tourist season. Sublette County's unemployment rate rose from 3.2 percent to 3.6 percent in April, while Campbell County's rate inched up from 3.4 percent to 3.5 percent.

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