© Copyright 2020 by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Research & Planning

Wyoming Unemployment Falls to 5.5% in October 2020

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 6.1% in September to 5.5% in October. Wyoming’s unemployment rate has decreased in each of the past six months and is much lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.9%. Despite several months of decreases, Wyoming’s unemployment rate remains higher than its October 2019 level of 3.7%.

From September to October, unemployment rates fell in most counties. The largest decreases were seen in Natrona County (down from 8.9% to 7.8%), Sweetwater County (down from 6.9% to 6.0%), Washakie County (down from 4.7% to 3.9%), and Uinta County (down from 6.3% to 5.5%). Unemployment increased slightly in Teton County (up from 4.2% to 4.4%) and Niobrara County (up from 3.4% to 3.6%). Teton County’s unemployment rate often increases in October as the summer tourist season winds down.

From October 2019 to October 2020, unemployment rates rose in 22 of Wyoming’s 23 counties. The largest increases occurred in areas of the state that are highly dependent on the energy sector. Natrona County’s jobless rate rose from 3.8% to 7.8%, Campbell County’s rate rose from 3.5% to 6.4%, and Converse County’s rate rose from 2.7% to 5.3%. In contrast, Goshen County’s unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6%, and unemployment rose only slightly in Albany (up from 2.8% to 2.9%) and Big Horn (up from 3.6% to 3.8%) counties.

In October, the highest unemployment rates were reported in Natrona County at 7.8%, Campbell County at 6.4%, and Sweetwater County at 6.0%. The lowest unemployment rates were found in Albany County at 2.9%, Weston County at 3.3%, and Crook and Carbon counties, both at 3.5%.

Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) decreased from 290,600 in October 2019 to 277,700 in October 2020, a decline of 12,900 jobs (-4.4%).

Research & Planning has scheduled the November unemployment news release for December 22, 2020.


Wyoming Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Labor Force Estimates
                                                                                             Change
                                                                                  Month                    Year
                                  October-20   September-20   October-19   absolute     percent    absolute     percent
Total Civilian Labor Force          295,341      294,249      292,785       1,092        0.4%       2,556        0.9%
Employed                            279,057      276,399      281,900       2,658        1.0%      -2,843       -1.0%
Unemployed                           16,284       17,850       10,885      -1,566       -8.8%       5,399       49.6%
Unemployment Rate                       5.5          6.1          3.7

Definitions:
Employed All persons who, during the reference week, did any work at all as paid employees, worked in their own business, profession, or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in a family business.
Unemployed All persons who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week.
Labor Force All persons who meet the criteria given above as either employed or unemployed.
Unemployment Rate The number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.
Seasonal Adjustment 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 to better understand changes in economic conditions from month to month.



Note Regarding Tables 1-3 Below

Not seasonally adjusted data reflect the actual economic conditions in a given area for a given time period. These data show the normal seasonal changes that occur in the economy. Most county unemployment rates are higher in the winter months because of seasonal job losses in construction, leisure & hospitality, and many other sectors. Similarly, most county unemployment rates are lower in the summer months as employment increases across the economy. Data users should use caution when comparing not seasonally adjusted data for different months, as at least part of the difference between months may reflect normal seasonal patterns.

In contrast, seasonally adjusted data have been subjected to a statistical procedure to remove the effects of normal changes that occur in the economy each year, such as seasonal hiring in the construction sector, the opening and closing of schools, and holiday hiring by retail trade establishments. There is no expectation that seasonally adjusted unemployment rates will be higher or lower in any particular month, except as the economy expands or contracts. The value of seasonally adjusted data is that it is easy to identify longer-term trends in the data and valid comparisons can be made between any two months in the series.

Research & Planning works in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to develop and publish unemployment rates for each county in Wyoming. However, these data are not seasonally adjusted and therefore reflect seasonal changes each month.


Table 1: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment
rates ranked from lowest to highest for October 2020
 
                  
   County        	        Rate*
Albany County, WY                2.9
Weston County, WY                3.3
Carbon County, WY                3.5
Crook County, WY                 3.5
Goshen County, WY                3.6
Niobrara County, WY              3.6
Big Horn County, WY              3.8
Platte County, WY                3.8
Lincoln County, WY               3.9
Washakie County, WY              3.9
Sheridan County, WY              4.1
Park County, WY                  4.2
Hot Springs County, WY           4.3
Teton County, WY                 4.4
Johnson County, WY               4.5
Laramie County, WY               4.5
Converse County, WY              5.3
Fremont County, WY               5.3
Uinta County, WY                 5.5
Sublette County, WY              5.7
Sweetwater County, WY            6.0
Campbell County, WY              6.4
Natrona County, WY               7.8


*preliminary


Table 2: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates over-the-month rate
changes ranked from lowest to highest for October 2020

                                     Month ago                            Over-the-Month   
    County                             rate          Rate*                  Rate Change    
Natrona County, WY                      8.9           7.8                       -1.1
Sweetwater County, WY                   6.9           6.0                       -0.9
Uinta County, WY                        6.3           5.5                       -0.8
Washakie County, WY                     4.7           3.9                       -0.8
Campbell County, WY                     7.1           6.4                       -0.7
Johnson County, WY                      5.2           4.5                       -0.7
Hot Springs County, WY                  4.9           4.3                       -0.6
Sublette County, WY                     6.3           5.7                       -0.6
Big Horn County, WY                     4.3           3.8                       -0.5
Carbon County, WY                       4.0           3.5                       -0.5
Laramie County, WY                      5.0           4.5                       -0.5
Platte County, WY                       4.3           3.8                       -0.5
Converse County, WY                     5.7           5.3                       -0.4
Fremont County, WY                      5.7           5.3                       -0.4
Goshen County, WY                       4.0           3.6                       -0.4
Lincoln County, WY                      4.2           3.9                       -0.3
Park County, WY                         4.5           4.2                       -0.3
Weston County, WY                       3.6           3.3                       -0.3
Albany County, WY                       3.1           2.9                       -0.2
Crook County, WY                        3.7           3.5                       -0.2
Sheridan County, WY                     4.0           4.1                        0.1
Niobrara County, WY                     3.4           3.6                        0.2
Teton County, WY                        4.2           4.4                        0.2

*preliminary


Table 3: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates over-the-year
changes ranked from lowest to highest for October 2020
 
                                Year ago                       Over-the-Year   
   County                         Rate            Rate*         Rate Change    
Goshen County, WY                  3.6             3.6             0.0
Albany County, WY                  2.8             2.9             0.1
Big Horn County, WY                3.6             3.8             0.2
Washakie County, WY                3.5             3.9             0.4
Park County, WY                    3.6             4.2             0.6
Carbon County, WY                  2.8             3.5             0.7
Crook County, WY                   2.8             3.5             0.7
Platte County, WY                  3.1             3.8             0.7
Hot Springs County, WY             3.5             4.3             0.8
Lincoln County, WY                 3.1             3.9             0.8
Weston County, WY                  2.5             3.3             0.8
Laramie County, WY                 3.4             4.5             1.1
Niobrara County, WY                2.5             3.6             1.1
Sheridan County, WY                2.9             4.1             1.2
Sublette County, WY                4.5             5.7             1.2
Fremont County, WY                 4.0             5.3             1.3
Johnson County, WY                 3.0             4.5             1.5
Teton County, WY                   2.8             4.4             1.6
Uinta County, WY                   3.7             5.5             1.8
Sweetwater County, WY              3.5             6.0             2.5
Converse County, WY                2.7             5.3             2.6
Campbell County, WY                3.5             6.4             2.9
Natrona County, WY                 3.8             7.8             4.0

*preliminary


Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
Research & Planning

November 24, 2020

Contacts:
Michael Moore, Editor, 307-473-3814

Tony Glover, Research & Planning Manager, 307-473-3801


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