The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly from 3.8% in January to 3.7% in February. Wyoming's unemployment rate has been trending downward since its peak of 8.6% in May 2020. From January to February, seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents increased by 630 individuals (0.2%) as people returned to work.
From January to February, most county unemployment rates changed very little. Jobless rates increased slightly in Big Horn (up from 4.8% to 5.0%), Park (up from 4.2% to 4.4%), Platte (up from 3.6% to 3.8%), and Weston (up from 2.9% to 3.1%) counties. Unemployment rates fell in Niobrara (down from 3.3% to 2.7%), Carbon (down from 4.1% to 3.8%), and Hot Springs (down from 3.4% to 3.2%) counties.
Unemployment rates decreased from year-ago levels in every county. The largest decreases occurred in Natrona (down from 8.3% to 5.0%), Converse (down from 7.1% to 3.8%), and Sublette (down from 8.0% to 4.8%) counties. County unemployment rates were elevated during most of 2020 and 2021 and recent decreases suggest that unemployment rates are returning to more normal levels.
The highest unemployment rates in February were found in Big Horn, Natrona, and Sweetwater counties (each at 5.0%). The lowest rates were reported in Teton County at 2.5% and Niobrara County at 2.7%.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) rose from 268,100 in February 2021 to 278,700 in February 2022, an increase of 10,600 jobs (4.0%). Employment was lower than normal in February 2021 because of economic disruptions related to the pandemic.
Research & Planning has scheduled the March unemployment news release for April 18, 2022.