Economists: Wyoming Economy Still Strong but Showing Signs of Weakness
State economists say Wyoming’s economy illustrated signs of developing weakness from October to December of 2012 but still remains strong overall.
The state-run Economic Analysis Division released its overall economic report for the fourth quarter of 2012 on Monday.
Senior state economist Wenlin Liu says there’s a direct correlation between the state’s economic slowdown and the state’s recent mineral extraction slowdown.
“Wyoming’s employment growth was quite strong in the first half of 2012, but somewhat slowing down in the second half,” Liu said. “The main reason was the slowing down of mineral extraction.”
Liu says Wyoming’s housing market is improving. He says housing price increases in Wyoming in late 2012 beat national averages.
“The housing market is continuing to recover pretty good,” Liu said. “Wyoming’s home price increase is stronger than the U.S. – by the fourth quarter of 2012, the average home price increased 8 percent compared to the previous year.”
Liu says, when compared to 2011 figures, the mining and logging industries lost the most jobs in the fourth quarter of 2012, shedding a combined 1,230 workers last year. The state saw its biggest employment increases in healthcare, education and government – Liu says a combined 1,210 jobs were gained in those three areas.
Moderate employment gains in Wyoming were also recorded in the manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, leisure and hospitality and financial activities industries.