The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state's seasonally adjusted1 unemployment rate was 4.9% in February 2013. It has remained at that level for three months in a row. Wyoming's unemployment rate is lower than its year-ago level of 5.6% and significantly lower than the current U.S. unemployment rate of 7.7%. Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents grew marginally in February, rising by 578 individuals (0.2%).
From January to February, most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and fell slightly. The largest decreases in unemployment occurred in Platte (down from 6.7% to 5.8%), Teton (down from 6.5% to 5.6%), and Niobrara (down from 4.6% to 4.0%) counties. Unemployment was unchanged in Sheridan County (7.0%) and increased slightly in Johnson County (up from 7.2% to 7.3%).
The highest unemployment rate in February was found in Lincoln County (7.9%). It was followed by Johnson (7.3%), Fremont (7.3%), and Sheridan (7.0%) counties. Niobrara County had the lowest unemployment rate (4.0%), followed by Sublette (4.1%) and Converse (4.2%) counties.
Nearly all unemployment rates fell from February 2012 to February 2013. The largest decreases were seen in Lincoln (down from 9.7% to 7.9%), Teton (down from 7.0% to 5.6%), and Carbon (down from 6.9% to 5.6%) counties. Unemployment rates edged upward in Sublette (up from 3.6% to 4.1%) and Hot Springs (up from 5.4% to 5.8%) counties.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (measured by place of work) fell slightly from 281,200 jobs in February 2012 to 280,400 jobs in February 2013, a decrease of 800 jobs (-0.3%).
1Seasonal adjustment is 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.