Wyoming Unemployment Rate Falls to 4.8% in December 2016

The Research & Planning News Release featuring employment data for December 2016 is now available online.

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly from 4.9% in November to 4.8% in December (not a statistically significant change). Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents increased slightly from November to December, rising by an estimated 1,091 individuals (0.4%; not a statistically significant change). However, employment was lower than a year earlier (down 2,248 individuals, or -0.8%) and Wyoming's labor force fell slightly (down 829 individuals, or -0.3%).

From November to December, unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased in nearly every county. As colder weather sets in, employment often falls in construction and other sectors. The largest unemployment rate increases occurred in Johnson (up from 4.4% to 5.3%), Crook (up from 3.7% to 4.5%), and Sheridan (up from 3.7% to 4.5%) counties. Teton County's unemployment rate fell from 5.7% to 3.6% as the start of the ski season resulted in more jobs.

From December 2015 to December 2016, unemployment rates fell in nine counties, rose in 12 counties, and were unchanged in Laramie and Park counties. The largest over-the-year unemployment rate increases occurred in Campbell (up from 4.4% to 6.0%), Weston (up from 3.3% to 4.5%), Converse (up from 4.4% to 5.4%), and Natrona (up from 5.6% to 6.6%) counties. Unemployment rates fell in Lincoln (down from 4.9% to 4.4%), Teton (down from 4.0% to 3.6%), and Big Horn (down from 4.8% to 4.4%) counties.

Natrona County (6.6%) posted the highest unemployment rate in December. It was followed by Fremont (6.4%), Campbell (6.0%), and Sublette (5.8%) counties. The lowest unemployment rates were seen in Niobrara (2.8%), Albany (2.8%), and Goshen (3.0%) counties.

Total nonfarm employment (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) fell from 283,900 in December 2015 to 276,200 in December 2016, a decrease of 7,700 jobs (or -2.7%; a statistically significant decrease).

Research & Planning has scheduled the January employment news release for .

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