© Copyright 2007 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 44 No. 7

Wyoming Unemployment Increases in May

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted* unemployment rate increased from 2.9% in April to 3.3% in May. It has steadily increased each month since its recent low of 2.3% in February of this year and is now the same level as in May 2006. Despite these increases, the Wyoming unemployment rate remains below the U.S. rate of 4.5%. Job growth continued in May (up 8,400 jobs or 3.0% from a year earlier).

From April to May Wyoming added 7,000 jobs or 2.5%. This level of increase is consistent with normal seasonal patterns. Seasonal job gains were seen in Construction (1,600 jobs or 6.7%), Retail Trade (1,100 jobs or 3.7%), Professional & Business Services (600 jobs or 3.4%), Leisure & Hospitality (1,900 jobs or 6.2%), and Government (1,000 jobs or 1.5%).

Over the year the largest job increases were in Natural Resources & Mining (1,400 jobs or 5.3%), Transportation, Warehousing, & Utilities (1,000 jobs or 7.5%), and Government (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals; 1,000 jobs or 1.5%). Substantial job gains were also seen in Construction (900 jobs or 3.7%), Professional & Business Services (700 jobs or 4.0%), Educational & Health Services (700 jobs or 3.1%), and Leisure & Hospitality (900 jobs or 2.9%). Employment was unchanged in Manufacturing and Information.

Across Wyoming’s 23 counties unemployment rates remained low. Platte County posted the highest unemployment rate (4.2%) followed by Fremont and Big Horn counties (both 4.1%). When compared to May 2006, most unemployment rates increased slightly. The largest increases were found in Johnson (up from 3.1% to 3.9%), Platte (up from 3.7% to 4.2%), and Washakie (up from 3.5% to 4.0%) counties. Unemployment decreased slightly in Carbon (down from 3.5% to 3.3%), Goshen (down from 4.0% to 3.8%), Lincoln (down from 3.4% to 3.2%), and Teton (down from 3.0% to 2.8%) counties.

*Seasonal adjustment is a statistical procedure to remove the impact of normal regularly recurring events (such as weather, major holidays, and the opening and closing of schools) from economic time series in order to obtain a better understanding of changes in economic conditions from month to month.