The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 4.9% in August to 4.5% in September. In each of the past three months, unemployment has trended downward as individuals have dropped out of the labor force. Wyoming's unemployment rate remained lower than the current U.S. rate of 4.8% and was much lower than its September 2020 level of 5.7%.
From August to September, unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and fell in every county. Unemployment sometimes decreases in September as schools and colleges staff up for the start of a new school year. The largest unemployment rate decreases occurred in Sweetwater (down from 4.7% to 3.4%), Natrona (down from 5.0% to 3.7%), and Campbell (down from 4.6% to 3.4%) counties.
Compared to last year, unemployment rates decreased in all of Wyoming's 23 counties. Unemployment rates were higher than normal in September 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest over-the-year decreases occurred in energy producing areas of the state. Natrona County's unemployment rate fell from 8.5% to 3.7%, Campbell County's rate fell from 7.5% to 3.4%, Converse County's rate fell from 6.8% to 2.9%, and Sweetwater County's rate fell from 7.2% to 3.4%.
In September, the lowest unemployment rates were found in Teton County at 1.8%, and Crook and Weston counties (both 2.0%). The highest rates were reported in Natrona County at 3.7%, and Campbell, Sublette, and Sweetwater counties (all 3.4%).
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) rose from 275,700 in September 2020 to 277,600 in September 2021, an increase of 1,900 jobs (0.7%). Employment was unusually low in September 2020 because of economic disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research & Planning has scheduled the October unemployment news release for November 22, 2021.