© Copyright 2009 by the Wyoming Department of Employment, Research & Planning


Vol. 45 No. 12

Wyoming Unemployment Unchanged at 3.3% in October 2008

by: David Bullard, Senior Economist

Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.3% in October. In contrast, the U.S. unemployment rate increased from 6.1% in September to 6.5% in October (its highest level in 14 years). U.S. employment fell by 1.2 million jobs (0.9%) from October 2007 to October 2008 while Wyoming job growth continued at a healthy pace (up 9,500 jobs, or 3.2%, from a year earlier).

From September to October Wyoming employment fell by 2,400 jobs (0.8%). This level of decrease is consistent with normal seasonal patterns. Seasonal job gains in manufacturing (300 jobs, or 3.0%) and government (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals; 1,200 jobs, or 1.7%) were more than offset by seasonal job losses in construction (-400 jobs, or -1.4%), retail trade (-300 jobs, or -0.9%), and leisure & hospitality (-3,300 jobs, or -8.9%).

Over the year Wyoming added 9,500 jobs (3.2%). Growth was seen in almost every sector. The most rapid growth occurred in natural resources & mining (1,700 jobs, or 6.1%) and other services (800 jobs, or 7.0%). Solid job gains were seen in retail trade (500 jobs, or 1.6%), professional & business services (600 jobs, or 3.2%), educational & health services (1,000 jobs, or 4.3%), leisure & hospitality (1,200 jobs, or 3.7%), and government (including public schools, colleges, and hospitals; 2,600 jobs, or 3.8%). Manufacturing employment fell by 100 jobs (1.0%) and transportation, warehousing, & utilities was unchanged from a year earlier.

County unemployment rates remained quite low in October. Platte County posted the highest unemployment rate (3.7%), followed by Niobrara County (3.6%) and Fremont and Laramie counties (both 3.4%). Compared to a year earlier, unemployment rates increased in all but one county (Niobrara). The lowest unemployment rates were found in Sublette (1.5%), Campbell (1.8%), Sweetwater (2.2%), and Albany (2.2%) counties.

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