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


Vol. 43 No. 11

Wyoming Unemployment Increases to 3.6% in September 2006

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly from 3.3% in August to 3.6% in September (not a statistically significant change). It remained below its September 2005 level of 3.9% and the current U.S. unemployment rate of 4.6%. The state’s labor force (the sum of employed and unemployed persons) expanded by 6,854 or 2.4% from September 2005. The number of new jobs in Wyoming continued to increase at a rapid pace (up 11,000 jobs or 4.1% from September 2005).

From August to September employment fell by 1,200 jobs or 0.4%. This level of decrease is consistent with seasonal patterns and expected in September. Seasonal job losses were seen in Retail Trade (-600 jobs or -1.9%), Financial Activities (-300 jobs or -2.6%), Professional & Business Services (-700 jobs or -3.9%), and Leisure & Hospitality (-2,900 jobs or -7.6%). These job losses were partially offset by an increase in Government employment (3,800 jobs or 6.2%) as public schools reopened.

From September 2005 to September 2006, Wyoming gained 11,000 jobs (4.1%). Natural Resources & Mining (including oil & gas) grew by 3,300 jobs or 14.0% and Construction grew by 2,500 jobs or 11.1%. Large job gains were also seen in Manufacturing (600 jobs or 6.1%), Wholesale Trade (700 jobs or 8.9%), Transportation, Warehousing, & Utilities (800 jobs or 6.3%), Professional & Business Services (700 jobs or 4.3%) and Other Services (700 jobs or 7.1%). Other Services includes repair and maintenance services, a particularly fast-growing sector. The only major sector where employment fell from September 2005 was Information (-100 jobs or -2.3%) which includes newspapers, broadcasting, and telephone companies.

Across Wyoming’s 23 counties, unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from August to September. The largest increases were in Hot Springs County (up from 2.5% to 3.2%) and Uinta County (up from 2.5% to 3.1%). Platte County posted the highest unemployment rate (3.9%) followed by Fremont County (3.8%). The lowest unemployment rate was found in Sublette County (1.5%).