Wyoming Economy Rebounding, Employment Up 2.4 Percent from 2020
The Economic Analysis Division of the Wyoming Department of Administration & Information has released its Economic Summary for the third quarter of 2021. In it, they wrote that while Wyoming continued to rebound in the third quarter, it's still slower that the U.S. Average.
The Department of Admin and Info stated that numerous variables have impacted the economy, including variations of the coronavirus, and supply-chain issues that come as a result of the pandemic. This will continue into 2022, especially in light of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
"After an unexpectedly speedier recovery in the second quarter, the U.S. overall rebound pace decelerated in the third quarter, due in part to the aggressive surge of the Delta variant, and fading Federal assistance payments to businesses and social benefits to households," the report stated. "However, as Delta receded, fast growth quickly returned. Real GDP is tracking around 8.0 percent annualized in the fourth quarter, and Moody’s Analytics forecasts 5.6 percent GDP growth for the full year of 2021. The current wave of the fast-spreading Omicron variant is expected to be less disruptive to the healthcare system and the economy. For 2022, the U.S. real GDP is forecast to grow 4.4 percent, monthly job gains to average 325,000, and the unemployment rate to end the year at 3.5 percent. Inflation should also moderate significantly."
Wyoming is on the rebound, especially in the case of employment. The report stated that Wyoming's employment rate is up 2.4 percent (or 6,800 jobs) from last year, though this figure can be misleading because "2020's third quarter conditions were utterly devastating."
Still, this is an encouraging number, especially because the rate of job growth in the United States sits at 4.6 percent. Additionally, the report stated that Wyoming's unemployment rate decreased to 4.9 percent, though it is still lower than the national average of 5.1 percent.
The report illustrated that out of all employment industries, leisure and hospitality still lead the charge.
"Payroll jobs increased in most industrial sectors, led by leisure & hospitality (mostly restaurant & lodging)," the report said. "This service industry recovered about 4,300 jobs, 11.9 percent of its employees, in a year-over-year comparison."
Similarly, one of the most important industries in Wyoming has also improved.
"Wyoming’s pivotal industry, mining, improved moderately since the first quarter, growing 5.9 percent annually for the third quarter, due to the rebound in oil and natural gas activities," the report noted. "Manufacturing and other services also regained 4.6 and 4.8 percent of jobs, respectively."
In terms of tourism, visitation for both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks were up. According to the report, the number of visitations to Yellowstone reached 2,884,984 people in the third quarter of 2021, which is up 7.9 percent from 2020. Similarly, Grand Teton National Park saw 2,095,925 visitors, showing an increase of 1.3 percent from the previous year.
"Despite the negative effect from the highly infectious Delta variant, visitation figures for both national parks were the highest recorded for the third quarter in history," the report stated. "This record visitation was mostly attributed to visitors’ preference for outdoor sightseeing during the COVID-19 outbreak as well as pent-up demand for travel and vacation."
Additionally, The Economic Summary reported that total taxable sales in Wyoming expanded 1.5 percent to $5.3 billion in the third quarter of the year, as compared to 2020.
"This weak growth was mostly attributed to reduced activities in wind power construction compared to last year," the summary reported. "Increases occurred in most economic sectors. The leisure & hospitality grew substantially (38.8 percent), thanks to businesses reopening and the booming travel & tourism activities. The mining industry (including oil & gas extraction) also demonstrated a strong rebound, at 38.4 percent, due to increasing sales of equipment, supplies as well as services from energy exploration and production activities. The retail trade industry, the largest in terms of sales tax contribution, increased 13.4 percent."
To read more about the economic analysis of Wyoming, you can read the summary in full here.