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


Labor Force Changes in Wyoming and Its Neighbors, May 1999 Versus May 2000
by: Carol Kjar, Senior Statistician

W yoming's labor force decreased slightly (-0.1%) in May 2000 over May 1999 while the six neighboring states experienced increases in their labor force numbers.1  The Table shows the total labor force, the number of people employed and unemployed and the unemployment rate for May 1999 and May 2000 in Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah. The month of May generally marks the beginning of the summer season when employment increases in the Services (includes tourism) and Construction industries.

Wyoming’s six neighboring states all experienced an increase in their labor force numbers when May 2000 was compared to May 1999. Nebraska had the largest percent growth (4.6%) while Idaho, Utah and Colorado experienced similar growth percentages (2.9%, 2.7% and 2.5%, respectively). South Dakota had the smallest increase in labor force of the surrounding states with 0.9 percent growth.

The number of unemployed people decreased across Wyoming and the six surrounding states and consequently, all unemployment rates fell. Wyoming had the second largest decrease in the unemployment rate while having the third highest unemployment rate overall. The number of unemployed people may be influenced by seasonal factors such as the weather. However, the unemployment numbers also change because many unemployed workers may have found jobs while a small portion of unemployed people quit looking for work or left the state for jobs elsewhere.


1 Labor Force is the sum of the employed individuals and the unemployed individuals who are available and looking for work.

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