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

Wyoming Unemployment Falls to 8.8% in May 2020

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from its revised level of 9.6% in April to 8.8% in May. It appears that the state’s economy improved modestly in May as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were loosened and some businesses reopened. At 8.8%, Wyoming’s unemployment rate was significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 13.3%.

Most county unemployment rates fell from April to May, perhaps suggesting small scale improvement in labor markets around the state. The largest unemployment rate decreases occurred in Teton (down from 18.2% to 15.0%), Sublette (down from 11.4% to 9.8%), and Johnson (down from 9.7% to 8.1%) counties. Unemployment rates rose slightly in Converse County (up from 6.4% to 7.3%) and Carbon County (up from 6.8% to 7.0%).

Unemployment rates were higher than a year earlier in all 23 counties. The largest increases were seen in Teton County (up from 2.9% to 15.0%), Natrona County (up from 3.7% to 11.7%), Campbell County (up from 3.2% to 9.7%), and Sweetwater County (up from 3.5% to 9.7%).

Niobrara County had the lowest unemployment rate in May at 4.5%. It was followed by Albany County at 4.9% and Weston County at 5.0%. The highest unemployment rates were found in Teton County at 15.0%, Natrona County at 11.7%, and Sublette County at 9.8%.

Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) decreased from 292,300 in May 2019 to 265,500 in May 2020, a decline of 26,800 jobs (-9.2%).

Research & Planning has scheduled the June unemployment news release for July 21, 2020.


Wyoming Seasonally Adjusted Statewide Labor Force Estimates
                                                                                          Change
                                                                               Month                    Year
                                     May-20     April-20       May-19   absolute     percent    absolute     percent
Total Civilian Labor Force          294,598      296,644      292,132      -2,046       -0.7%       2,466        0.8%
Employed                            268,681      268,301      281,782         380        0.1%     -13,101       -4.6%
Unemployed                           25,917       28,343       10,350      -2,426       -8.6%      15,567      150.4%
Unemployment Rate                       8.8          9.6          3.5

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 May 2020
 
                  
   County        		              Rate*
Niobrara County, WY                            4.5
Albany County, WY                              4.9
Weston County, WY                              5.0
Crook County, WY                               5.2
Goshen County, WY                              5.2
Big Horn County, WY                            5.8
Platte County, WY                              6.5
Hot Springs County, WY                         6.8
Carbon County, WY                              7.0
Washakie County, WY                            7.1
Converse County, WY                            7.3
Sheridan County, WY                            7.6
Lincoln County, WY                             7.7
Laramie County, WY                             7.8
Johnson County, WY                             8.1
Park County, WY                                8.3
Fremont County, WY                             8.5
Wyoming                                        8.7
Uinta County, WY                               8.9
Campbell County, WY                            9.7
Sweetwater County, WY                          9.7
Sublette County, WY                            9.8
Natrona County, WY                            11.7
Teton County, WY                              15.0

*preliminary


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

                                           Month ago                  Over-the-Month   
    County                                   rate           Rate*       Rate Change    
Teton County, WY                             18.2            15.0            -3.2
Johnson County, WY                            9.7             8.1            -1.6
Sublette County, WY                          11.4             9.8            -1.6
Laramie County, WY                            9.0             7.8            -1.2
Lincoln County, WY                            8.9             7.7            -1.2
Park County, WY                               9.5             8.3            -1.2
Big Horn County, WY                           6.8             5.8            -1.0
Goshen County, WY                             6.2             5.2            -1.0
Sheridan County, WY                           8.6             7.6            -1.0
Natrona County, WY                           12.6            11.7            -0.9
Wyoming                                       9.6             8.7            -0.9
Fremont County, WY                            9.3             8.5            -0.8
Sweetwater County, WY                        10.5             9.7            -0.8
Weston County, WY                             5.7             5.0            -0.7
Albany County, WY                             5.4             4.9            -0.5
Campbell County, WY                          10.2             9.7            -0.5
Crook County, WY                              5.7             5.2            -0.5
Hot Springs County, WY                        7.3             6.8            -0.5
Platte County, WY                             7.0             6.5            -0.5
Uinta County, WY                              9.4             8.9            -0.5
Washakie County, WY                           7.4             7.1            -0.3
Niobrara County, WY                           4.6             4.5            -0.1
Carbon County, WY                             6.8             7.0             0.2
Converse County, WY                           6.4             7.3             0.9

*preliminary

*preliminary


Table 3: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates over-the-year
changes ranked from lowest to highest for May 2020
 
                                Year ago                    Over-the-Year   
   County                         Rate            Rate*      Rate Change    
Goshen County, WY                  3.7             5.2             1.5
Niobrara County, WY                2.7             4.5             1.8
Albany County, WY                  3.0             4.9             1.9
Big Horn County, WY                3.9             5.8             1.9
Weston County, WY                  2.8             5.0             2.2
Crook County, WY                   2.9             5.2             2.3
Platte County, WY                  3.0             6.5             3.5
Washakie County, WY                3.6             7.1             3.5
Hot Springs County, WY             3.2             6.8             3.6
Carbon County, WY                  3.0             7.0             4.0
Sheridan County, WY                3.1             7.6             4.5
Laramie County, WY                 3.2             7.8             4.6
Lincoln County, WY                 3.1             7.7             4.6
Converse County, WY                2.6             7.3             4.7
Fremont County, WY                 3.8             8.5             4.7
Johnson County, WY                 3.4             8.1             4.7
Park County, WY                    3.4             8.3             4.9
Uinta County, WY                   3.6             8.9             5.3
Wyoming                            3.3             8.7             5.4
Sublette County, WY                4.0             9.8             5.8
Sweetwater County, WY              3.5             9.7             6.2
Campbell County, WY                3.2             9.7             6.5
Natrona County, WY                 3.7            11.7             8.0
Teton County, WY                   2.9            15.0            12.1

*preliminary


Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
Research & Planning

June 23, 2020

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

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


Labor Market Information | Send Us Mail