Local Jobs and Payroll in Wyoming in Third Quarter 2016: Employment Falls in 19 Counties

After peaking at 5.6% in May 2016, Wyoming's unemployment rate has steadily decreased, and the most recent estimate is that unemployment stood at 4.5% in March 2017. The unemployment rate comes from the household survey conducted each month by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment rates can be affected by migration. For example, if unemployed individuals move out of the state, the unemployment rate may decrease. This report, which focuses on changes in the number of jobs between third quarter 2015 and third quarter 2016, contains data from employers' quarterly unemployment insurance tax filings (employers have one month after the end of the calendar quarter to submit their tax reports). It provides local detail by county and industry and can help explain more precisely how economic conditions changed in Wyoming between 2015 and 2016.

From third quarter 2015 to third quarter 2016, total unemployment insurance (UI) covered payroll decreased by $135 million (-4.2%), employment fell by 12,007 jobs (-4.2%), and average weekly wage was unchanged. As in previous quarters, the largest job losses occurred in the mining sector (including oil & gas; 5,062 jobs, or -22.0%). In terms of dollars, UI covered payroll represents approximately 91.5% of all wage and salary payroll and 43.8% of personal income in the state (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2014). Analysts have noted that "minerals related employment is one of the key predictors of sales and use tax revenue" in Wyoming (CREG, 2010).

Visit our website for the types of industry employment and the amount of earnings by county.

Employment rose in four counties and fell in 19 counties (see Table). Total payroll increased in eight counties and decreased in 15 counties.

From third quarter 2015 to third quarter 2016, Teton County added 945 jobs (4.2%) and its total payroll rose by $26.9 million (11.9%). Strong growth was seen in accommodation & food services; construction; arts, entertainment, & recreation; and real estate & rental & leasing.

Lincoln County gained 191 jobs (3.2%) and its total payroll increased by $7.7 million (12.5%). Job gains occurred in accommodation & food services, construction, administrative & waste services, real estate & rental & leasing, and health care & social assistance.

From third quarter 2015 to third quarter 2016, employment in Campbell County decreased by 3,397 jobs (-12.2%) and its total payroll fell by $60.2 million (-15.4%). Large job losses were seen in mining (including oil & gas), construction, wholesale trade, manufacturing, transportation & warehousing, and accommodation & food services.

Natrona County lost 3,171 jobs (-7.7%) and its total payroll decreased by $57.4 million (-11.6%). Employment fell in mining (including oil & gas), wholesale trade, manufacturing, other services, construction, professional & technical services, and accommodation & food services.

From third quarter 2015 to third quarter 2016, Sweetwater County lost 1,184 jobs (-5.1%) and its total payroll fell by $13.0 million (-4.0%). Employment fell in mining (including oil & gas), construction, transportation & warehousing, real estate & rental & leasing, wholesale trade, and administrative & waste services.

Fremont County's employment fell by 753 jobs (-4.6%) and its total payroll decreased by $8.0 million (-5.1%). The largest job losses occurred in local government (including public schools & colleges), mining (including oil & gas), real estate & rental & leasing, accommodation & food services, transportation & warehousing, and professional & technical services.

Converse County lost 750 jobs (-11.8%) and its total payroll declined by $9.4 million (-11.9%). Job losses were seen in mining (including oil & gas), construction, transportation & warehousing, accommodation & food services, professional & technical services, and retail trade.

Preview - Fourth Quarter (October through December) 2016 Covered Employment & Wages

According to preliminary data, employment declined from fourth quarter 2015 to fourth quarter 2016. Total payroll fell by $298 million (-8.7%) and employment decreased by approximately 12,000 jobs (-4.3%). Large job losses were seen in mining (including oil & gas; approximately 3,700 jobs), construction (approximately 2,700 jobs), wholesale trade (nearly 1,200 jobs), retail trade (nearly 800 jobs), transportation & warehousing (approximately 750 jobs), and manufacturing (approximately 500 jobs).

Industry employment and wages data for fourth quarter 2016 are available at here.

County level covered employment and wages data for Fourth Quarter 2016 are scheduled to be released on August 11, 2017.

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