© Copyright 2001 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning

Covered Employment and Wages for Fourth Quarter 2000

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist     tables by: Nancy Brennan, Economist

"Laramie County added 822 jobs or 2.3 percent, with large gains in Retail Trade, Local Government and Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities."

Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered employment1 increased by 4,748 jobs or 2.1 percent during the fourth quarter of 2000 compared to fourth quarter 1999. Fourth quarter’s employment increase is significantly higher than the five-year average growth of 1.7 percent (see Table 1). Total payroll increased by 7.8 percent, above the five-year average of 6.5 percent. The average weekly wage increased by $30 or 5.6 percent, above its five-year average of 4.6 percent. 

Statewide Employment by Industry

Table 2 shows that the industries which created the largest number of jobs in fourth quarter were Services (1,300 jobs or 2.6%), Retail Trade (986 jobs or 2.1%), Mining (972 jobs or 5.8%) and Local Government (960 jobs or 2.6%). 

Health services was the fastest growing sub-industry within Services. During fourth quarter it gained almost 700 jobs or 6.6 percent. Other areas within Services which showed significant growth included social services, membership organizations and engineering & management services.

Within Retail Trade, employment gains were concentrated in a relatively small number of industries. Practically all the job gains occurred in department stores and miscellaneous retail (the industry which includes catalog and mail-order houses). Small job losses occurred in food stores and apparel & accessory stores.

Oil & gas extraction was the only Mining sub-industry to show an employment increase. It gained 1,500 jobs or 17.4 percent. Employment in metal mining, coal mining and nonmetallic mineral mining all decreased when compared with fourth quarter 1999.

Employment in Local Government increased by 960 jobs or 2.6 percent. Most of the increase occurred in educational services and hospitals.

Construction was the only industry which had a significant decline in employment in fourth quarter 2000 (-256 jobs or -1.4%). It appears that colder weather in 2000 may be to blame for the job losses as employment in heavy construction dropped off sharply during November and December in comparison to 1999. The Figure shows that average temperature in November fell from 38.8 degrees in 1999 to 19.4 degrees in 2000. December’s temperature also fell from 1999 to 2000, but not as dramatically. 

Employment by County

Table 3 shows that the employment situation across Wyoming counties was mixed. Eight counties lost employment when compared with fourth quarter 1999, while 15 counties gained jobs.

Natrona County had the honor of creating the largest number of jobs during fourth quarter. It gained 909 jobs or 2.9 percent. Large employment increases were seen in Local Government, Mining, Manufacturing and Retail Trade. Employment fell in Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities.

Laramie County added 822 jobs or 2.3 percent, with large gains in Retail Trade, Local Government and Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities. Job losses occurred in Services, Construction and Finance, Insurance ,& Real Estate.

Employment increased by 736 jobs or 4.1 percent in Campbell County as a result of strong growth in Mining,
Wholesale Trade and Retail Trade. Within Mining, small job losses in coal mining (approximately 100 jobs) were offset by large gains in oil & gas extraction (400 jobs).

Teton County was the fastest growing county in percentage terms, adding 629 jobs or 4.3 percent. Growth industries included Local Government and Construction.

Sweetwater County lost 269 jobs or 1.4 percent. Job losses were seen in Construction, Local Government and Mining.

Platte County had 228 fewer jobs in fourth quarter 2000 than in 1999, a decline of 6.8 percent. Most of these job losses were associated with the completion of a construction project.

For more detailed tables on fourth quarter covered employment and wages, visit our Internet site.

1 Approximately 85-90 percent of all workers in Wyoming are covered by Unemployment Insurance (UI). Some exceptions include the self-employed and many agricultural workers.

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