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

Employment Growth Continues, but Unemployment Rises Slightly in September
by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming employment growth continued in September as 5,300 jobs were created, an increase of 2.2 percent over the year. Wyoming's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly from 3.8 percent in August to 4.0 percent in September (not a statistically significant increase). The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.9 percent and U.S. job growth dropped to 0.1 percent.

Strong job growth was seen in several industries in September. Mining added 2,000 jobs or 11.4 percent, with the vast majority of gains in oil & gas extraction. Employment in Retail Trade grew by 700 jobs or 1.4 percent. Services gained 1,500 jobs or 2.6 percent, with the largest growth in health services (400 jobs or 3.6%), social services (500 jobs or 8.6%) and engineering & management services (400 jobs or 10.5%). Government employment grew by 600 jobs or 1.0 percent, mostly as a result of gains in local government education and hospitals.

Small job losses occurred in Manufacturing (-100 jobs or 0.9%), Transportation, Communications & Public Utilities (-300 jobs or -2.1%) and Federal Government (-200 jobs or -2.5%).

Labor force (the sum of employed and unemployed individuals) increased by 2,951 or 1.1 percent when compared with September 2000. The number of unemployed grew by 305 individuals or 3.5 percent. Wyoming's unemployment rate has been below the U.S. rate for the past twelve months.

September unemployment rates were quite low in Wyoming counties. Uinta County's unemployment rate (5.1%) was the highest in the state and the only rate above 5.0 percent. Teton County posted the lowest unemployment rate (1.5%) and Johnson County was the second lowest (1.7%). Natrona County's unemployment rate of 3.5 percent was lower than September 2000 (4.0%). Laramie County's rate increased over the year from 2.6 percent in September 2000 to 3.2 percent in September 2001.


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