Wyoming Economist Says ‘We’re Seeing Things Turn Around’
A new state unemployment report released on Tuesday includes a fair amount of good news, according to a Senior State Economist.
The report from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services shows Wyoming's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 4.0 percent in February to 3.9 percent in March. That's the lowest Wyoming jobless rate in three years.
Perhaps even more importantly, the same report shows 3, 300 more people were working in Wyoming last month compared to March of 2017. While the size of the increase [1.2 percent increase in total nonfarm employment] is deemed in the report as "not statistically significant," it nonetheless reverses a recent trend of falling unemployment rates combined with a shrinking workforce.
Wyoming Senior Economist David Bullard said the report includes more good news in that the natural resources sector of the economy, which includes the critical mining industries [including oil and gas], seems to be doing especially well.
That trend was reflected in big unemployment decreases in the state's major energy-producing counties in a year-over-year comparison. Sublette County saw it's jobless rate fall from 5.8 percent to 4.1 percent between March 2017 and last month. Natrona County's unemployment rate dropped from 6.0 percent to 4.7 percent over that same time, while Campbell County's jobless rate fell from 5.7 percent to 4.2 percent.
Between February 2018 and last month, Johnson County saw the biggest drop in unemployment, dropping from 4.9 percent to 4.3 percent. The state's two biggest counties were tied for the next biggest drop in unemployment. Natrona County joblessness went from 5.0 percent to 4.7 percent, while Laramie County's unemployment rate fell from 4.1 percent to 3.8 percent.
In summarizing the new report released on Tuesday, Bullard said "We're seeing things turn around. Things seem to be improving."
The national unemployment rate for last month was 4.1 percent.