"Labor Market Information (LMI) is an applied science; it is the systematic collection and analysis of data which describes and predicts the relationship between labor demand and supply." The States' Labor Market Information Review, ICESA, 1995, p. 7.
by: Matthew Halama, Senior Economist
The industry spotlight is a quarterly feature from the Research & Planning (R&P) section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services designed to highlight a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) subsector. This article uses data obtained from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) from the last 20 years, or the oldest available data to the most recent quarter available.
This article focuses on the support activities for mining subsector, which is given the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code 213. As noted in the related article, support activities for mining was identified as a growing industry for Wyoming in 2022Q2.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022), establishments in this subsector "primarily [provide] support services, on a contract or fee basis, required for the mining and quarrying of minerals and for the extraction of oil and gas. Establishments performing exploration (except geophysical surveying and mapping) for minerals, on a contract or fee basis, are included in this subsector. Exploration includes traditional prospecting methods, such as taking core samples and making geological observations at prospective sites." In addition, these services may also be performed in-house by mining operators.
Statewide Wyoming quarterly data included in this article are total payroll, average monthly number of employees, average weekly wage, and number of businesses from the QCEW. A total of 86 quarters worth of data were observed from first quarter 2001 (2001Q1) to second quarter 2022 (2022Q2). The numbers come from private establishments, so local, state, and federal government employment within this industry have been excluded. The data discussed in this article are available online at https://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/toc_202.htm.
The number of Unemployment Insurance-covered businesses in support activities for mining increased from 519 in 2001Q2 to 633 in 2022Q2, a gain of 114 (22.0%) locations during the 20-year period (see Table 1). As illustrated in Figure 1, the number of businesses in support activities for mining peaked at 852 in 2009Q1 and has steadily decreased with each economic downturn (see related article).
As illustrated in Figure 2, average monthly employment in support activities for mining was quite volatile over the last 21 years, reaching a peak of 15,776 in 2018Q4 and dropping to its lowest point of 4,636 in 2020Q4. Employment decreased from 7,565 jobs in 2001Q2 to 6,225 in 2022Q2 (-1,340, or -17.7%), with several ups and downs over the last two decades.
Total wages in support activities for mining showed the same volatility as employment (see Figure 3). The majority of quarters (55) reviewed showed an over-the-year increase in total wages, while 27 quarters had a decrease. The greatest increase was seen from 2016Q4 to 2017Q4, when total wages increased by $66.7 million as the state recovered from its second economic downturn. Total wages increased from $85.8 million in 2001Q2 to $130.6 million in 2022Q2 ($44.7 million, or 52.1%).
In 2022Q2, the average weekly wage in support activities for mining was $1,613, compared to the overall statewide average of $1,048. The average weekly wage in this industry subsector has historically been substantially higher than the statewide average (see Figure 4).
Employment and wages in support activities for mining may increase and decrease very rapidly as the demand for Wyoming's mining industry changes.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2022, December). Industries at a glance: Support activities for mining - NAICS 213. Retrieved December 26, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag213.htm.
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