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


Vol. 43 No. 10

Wyoming Job Growth Increases to 4.1% in August 2006

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Because of continued growth in Natural Resources, Mining, and Construction, Wyoming’s over-the-year job growth rate increased to 4.1% in August. The state’s seasonally adjusted* unemployment rate increased slightly from 3.0% in July to 3.3% in August (not a statistically significant change). It remains well below its August 2005 level of 3.9% and the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.7%. Wyoming’s labor force (the sum of employed and unemployed individuals) grew by 5,985 or 2.1% from August 2005.

From July to August, Wyoming added 200 jobs (0.1%). Job gains in Construction (800 jobs or 3.3%), Professional & Business Services (200 jobs or 1.1%), Educational & Health Services (200 jobs or 0.9%), and Government (300 jobs or 0.5%) were partially offset by seasonal job losses in Leisure & Hospitality (-800 jobs or -2.1%). July marks the peak of the summer tourist season and employment in Leisure & Hospitality usually falls in August and subsequent months.

From August 2005, employment increased by 11,100 jobs or 4.1%. Natural Resources & Mining (including oil & gas) continued to dominate the job gains (2,900 jobs or 12.4%). Construction employment also grew at a rapid pace (2,400 jobs or 10.5%). Increases were seen in Transportation, Warehousing, & Utilities (900 jobs or 7.0%), Educational & Health Services (700 jobs or 3.2%), and Government (800 jobs or 1.3%). Employment was unchanged in the Information sector which includes newspapers, broadcasting, and cable companies.

Wyoming county unemployment rates remained at very low levels. The highest unemployment rates were found in Fremont and Platte counties (both 3.6%) and Big Horn, Goshen, and Laramie counties (3.3%). Unemployment rates fell in every county from August 2005 to August 2006.

*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.