© Copyright 2021 by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Research & Planning

Wyoming Unemployment Falls to 5.1% in January 2021

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 5.2% in December to 5.1% in January. Wyoming has recently completed a comprehensive annual revision of its unemployment data. The revised data show that the state’s unemployment rate peaked at 8.5% in May 2020 and has steadily decreased since then. Wyoming’s January unemployment rate of 5.1% was much lower than the U.S. rate of 6.3%.

Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from December to January. Unemployment rates often rise in January as seasonal job losses are seen in many sectors, including construction, retail trade, transportation & warehousing, leisure & hospitality, and government. The largest jobless rate increases were seen in Sublette (up from 6.7% to 8.3%), Big Horn (up from 4.7% to 6.2%), Niobrara (up from 3.9% to 5.2%), and Hot Springs (up from 4.4% to 5.6%) counties.

From January 2020 to January 2021, unemployment rates rose in nearly every county. The largest increases were seen in areas of the state dominated by the energy sector. Converse County’s unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 6.7%, Natrona County’s rate rose from 5.2% to 8.2%, Campbell County’s rate rose from 4.4% to 7.0%, and Sweetwater County’s rate rose from 6.2% to 7.7%. In contrast to those increases, Big Horn County’s unemployment rate was unchanged from a year earlier at 6.2%.

The lowest unemployment rates in Wyoming were found in Weston County at 3.8%, Crook County at 4.0%, and Teton County at 4.2%. Sublette County reported the highest unemployment rate at 8.3%. It was followed by Natrona County at 8.2%, Sweetwater County at 7.7%, Campbell County at 7.0%, and Converse County at 6.7%.

Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) decreased from 282,400 in January 2020 to 265,900 in January 2021, a decline of 16,500 jobs (-5.8%).

Research & Planning has scheduled the February unemployment news release for March 29, 2021.


Wyoming Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Labor Force Estimates
                                                                                          Change
                                                                                  Month                    Year
                                 January-21  December-20   January-20     absolute     percent    absolute     percent
Total Civilian Labor Force          295,089      294,630      298,600         459        0.2%      -3,511       -1.2%
Employed                            280,009      279,346      285,320         663        0.2%      -5,311       -1.9%
Unemployed                           15,080       15,284       13,280        -204       -1.3%       1,800       13.6%
Unemployment Rate                       5.1          5.2          4.4

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 January 2021
 
                  
   County        	                Rate*
Weston County, WY                        3.8
Crook County, WY                         4.0
Teton County, WY                         4.2
Albany County, WY                        4.5
Goshen County, WY                        4.8
Lincoln County, WY                       5.2
Niobrara County, WY                      5.2
Carbon County, WY                        5.4
Laramie County, WY                       5.4
Platte County, WY                        5.5
Washakie County, WY                      5.5
Hot Springs County, WY                   5.6
Sheridan County, WY                      5.6
Johnson County, WY                       5.8
Park County, WY                          6.1
Wyoming                                  6.1
Big Horn County, WY                      6.2
Fremont County, WY                       6.4
Uinta County, WY                         6.4
Converse County, WY                      6.7
Campbell County, WY                      7.0
Sweetwater County, WY                    7.7
Natrona County, WY                       8.2
Sublette County, WY                      8.3

*preliminary


Table 2: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates over-the-month rate
changes ranked from lowest to highest for January 2021

                                       Month ago                 Over-the-Month   
    County                               rate           Rate*     Rate Change    
Teton County, WY                          4.2            4.2            0.0
Weston County, WY                         3.4            3.8            0.4
Crook County, WY                          3.5            4.0            0.5
Albany County, WY                         3.9            4.5            0.6
Goshen County, WY                         4.2            4.8            0.6
Converse County, WY                       6.0            6.7            0.7
Platte County, WY                         4.8            5.5            0.7
Campbell County, WY                       6.2            7.0            0.8
Wyoming                                   5.3            6.1            0.8
Carbon County, WY                         4.5            5.4            0.9
Fremont County, WY                        5.5            6.4            0.9
Johnson County, WY                        4.9            5.8            0.9
Laramie County, WY                        4.5            5.4            0.9
Natrona County, WY                        7.3            8.2            0.9
Sheridan County, WY                       4.7            5.6            0.9
Sweetwater County, WY                     6.8            7.7            0.9
Uinta County, WY                          5.5            6.4            0.9
Washakie County, WY                       4.6            5.5            0.9
Lincoln County, WY                        4.2            5.2            1.0
Park County, WY                           5.1            6.1            1.0
Hot Springs County, WY                    4.4            5.6            1.2
Niobrara County, WY                       3.9            5.2            1.3
Big Horn County, WY                       4.7            6.2            1.5
Sublette County, WY                       6.7            8.3            1.6

*preliminary



Table 3: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates over-the-year
changes ranked from lowest to highest for January 2021
 
                                       Year ago                     Over-the-Year   
   County                                Rate           Rate*        Rate Change    
Big Horn County, WY                       6.2            6.2            0.0
Fremont County, WY                        6.3            6.4            0.1
Park County, WY                           6.0            6.1            0.1
Weston County, WY                         3.5            3.8            0.3
Carbon County, WY                         5.0            5.4            0.4
Platte County, WY                         5.1            5.5            0.4
Washakie County, WY                       5.1            5.5            0.4
Crook County, WY                          3.5            4.0            0.5
Lincoln County, WY                        4.7            5.2            0.5
Goshen County, WY                         4.2            4.8            0.6
Johnson County, WY                        5.2            5.8            0.6
Albany County, WY                         3.8            4.5            0.7
Sheridan County, WY                       4.9            5.6            0.7
Laramie County, WY                        4.5            5.4            0.9
Hot Springs County, WY                    4.6            5.6            1.0
Teton County, WY                          3.1            4.2            1.1
Sublette County, WY                       7.1            8.3            1.2
Uinta County, WY                          5.2            6.4            1.2
Wyoming                                   4.9            6.1            1.2
Niobrara County, WY                       3.9            5.2            1.3
Sweetwater County, WY                     6.2            7.7            1.5
Campbell County, WY                       4.4            7.0            2.6
Natrona County, WY                        5.2            8.2            3.0
Converse County, WY                       3.5            6.7            3.2

*preliminary




Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
Research & Planning

March 8, 2021

Contacts:
David Bullard, Senior Economist, 307-473-3810

Carola Cowan, BLS Programs Supervisor, 307-473-3804


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