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

Covered Employment and Wages for First Quarter 2000, Part 1: Standard Industrial Classification (SIC)
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

"Campbell County produced the largest number of new jobs during the first quarter, growing by 1,475 jobs or 9.1 percent."

Unemployment Insurance (UI) covered employment1 increased by 6,745 jobs or 3.1 percent during the first quarter of 2000 compared to first quarter 1999. This employment increase is significantly higher than the five-year average growth of 1.7 percent (see Table 1). Total payroll increased by 11.0 percent, well above the five-year average of 5.3 percent. Average weekly wage increased by $36 or 7.6 percent, more than double its five-year average of 3.5 percent.

Statewide Employment and Wages by Industry

Table 2 shows that the industries which created the largest number of jobs in first quarter were Services (1,830 jobs or 3.9%), Mining (1,502 jobs or 9.9%) and Construction (1,187 jobs or 8.3%). Federal Government employment increased by 379 jobs or 5.7 percent as temporary workers were hired to conduct the 2000 Census. Employment growth in the Services industry was very broad based. Services sub-industries which grew significantly included hotels & lodging places, business services, amusement & recreational services, health services, social services and engineering & management services.

Within Mining, the vast majority of job gains (approximately 85%) were concentrated in oil & gas extraction. This job growth is the result of higher oil prices as well as coal bed methane activity in the Northeast corner of the state. Much of the employment growth in Construction was related to an unusually mild winter in Wyoming.

Average weekly wage grew faster than inflation in every major industry (see Table 2) resulting in real wage growth for Wyoming workers.2 The average weekly wage in Transportation, Communications, & Public Utilities (TCPU) grew by $125 or 20.0 percent to $754. This large increase moved TCPU up to second place in the ranking of high-paying industries in Wyoming. Mining, the highest-paying industry in Wyoming, added $44 or 4.7 percent to its average weekly wage. Wages in Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate (FIRE) grew slower than in any other industry, but at 3.9 percent still exceeded inflation.

With payroll growth (at 11.0%) outstripping employment growth, the rapid increase in average weekly wage may indicate that employees worked more hours during the first quarter or enjoyed steadier employment opportunities than are typically available during the winter months.

Employment by Region and County

Table 3 shows that the Northeast Region was the fastest growing area of the state. In this region, employment grew by 2,046 jobs or 6.3 percent. The Southwest and Southeast Regions both added jobs at a slower pace, with employment gains of 2.6 and 2.4 percent, respectively. The Central Region and the Northwest Region had the smallest employment gains of 1.5 and 1.4 percent.

Campbell County produced the largest number of new jobs during the first quarter, growing by 1,475 jobs or 9.1 percent. Within Campbell County, the industries with large employment gains included coal mining, oil & gas extraction and Construction.

Teton County’s economy continued to be characterized by rapid job growth. First quarter figures showed a gain of 1,054 jobs or 7.7 percent. The strongest growth in Teton County occurred in the Construction and Services industries. In particular, large numbers of jobs were created in hotels & lodging places, business services and amusement & recreational services.

Laramie County posted job gains of 1,051 or 3.1 percent in the first quarter. Approximately half of these job gains came from Government. Federal Government employment increased because of the decennial census, but Local Government showed an even larger increase. Job gains in private industry were widespread, occurring in Construction, TCPU, Retail Trade and Services.

Natrona County grew at a slower pace than the state as a whole, gaining 530 jobs or 1.8 percent. Approximately half of these jobs were found in Retail Trade, but other gains were seen in oil & gas extraction, health services and Government. Construction employment fell during the first quarter in Natrona County.

Five counties lost employment during first quarter. Sweetwater County lost the largest number of jobs, where employment fell by 273 jobs or 1.5 percent. Over half of these job losses occurred in two industries: Construction and TCPU. Employment fell by 130 jobs in Washakie County as job losses were seen in a number of industries. Both employment and wages fell in Park County. First quarter data show that employment decreased there by 93 jobs or 0.9 percent and total payroll decreased by $592,395 or 1.0 percent as a result of job losses in the Construction industry.

Employment in Converse County fell by 42 jobs or 1.0 percent, mostly as a result of decreasing employment in the Construction industry. In Albany County, employment decreased by 7 jobs or 0.1 percent as job gains in Construction were more than offset by job losses in Services.

For more detailed tables on first 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.

2 Inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers (CPI-U), was 3.7 percent for the twelve month period ending in March 2000.

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