Wyoming Economist Sees Hopeful Signs In New Report
While the latest report on the Wyoming economy contains the kind of bad news that has come to be expected in recent months, a senior State Economist says it also includes some hopeful signs.
The Wyoming Economic Indicators Report contains information on the economy through the month of September.
The report uses the Wyoming Business Cycle Index, or WBCI to gauge the health of the state economy.
The four components of the WBCI are the unemployment rate, private sector weekly wages, mining taxes and national park visits.
Economist Jim Robinson says the WBCI gives a good overview of the state economy by factoring in the four components and devising an overall score as opposed to just looking at items like unemployment or mineral production by themselves.
The bad news in the report is that Wyoming's September 2016 WBCI index score was 94.99, down from a September 2015 score of 99.01. All four components of the index showed weaker numbers in September compared to a year earlier.
That includes a statewide loss of 9,200 jobs over that period.
But the September 2016 WBCI score was still an increase over the August WBCI of 94.30. It also reversed a four month decline in the WBCI that Robinson says clearly shows the state economy was getting worse between May and August.
Robinson says that while he would like to see two or three months of an improving index score before drawing any real conclusions, it does tend to confirm that the state's economic downturn has bottomed out.