Wyoming's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased from 4.0% in June to 4.4% in July, according to a new report from the state Department of Research & Planning.

Senior Economist David Bullard says he was surprised by the jump because it seems to be inconsistent with other statistics, including claims for  unemployment insurance, which have actually been decreasing in the state.

He says the figures may reflect the fact that people who have been unemployed for some time and had given up looking for work have now resumed their efforts because of an improving economy.

Bullard says that phenomenon has been seen in many other states and may be happening in Wyoming as well. He also points out that even Wyoming's July unemployment rate is well below that national jobless rate of 6.2% and qualifies as the sixth lowest in the nation.

Laramie County's unemployment rate fell from 4.9% in June to 4.8% in July.