Wyoming's economy continues to grow. That's according to the October 2014 issue of the Wyoming Insight now available from the state's Economic Analysis Division. 

According to the report overall Wyoming added 5,900 payroll jobs in September compared to a year ago, increasing at a rate of 2.0 percent. This was the highest year-over-year growth rate for the state since April of 2012 when the growth rate was 2.5 percent.

The goods-producing industries in the state had a gain of 2,400 jobs while service-providing jobs increased by 3,500. Both are year-over-year comparisons. Private sector growth showed a gain of 6,200 jobs or 2.9 percent while government jobs declined by 300 or 0.4 percent.

Principal economist Jim Robnson said after three months of fiscal 2015, sales and use tax collections saw growth of $24.5 million (12.3 percent in a year-to-date comparison to 2014. “Campbell (+$8.6 million), (+$4.3 million), and Natrona (+$4.0 million) counties have accounted for almost 70.0 percent of the gains in collections so far this year. From an industry perspective, the mining, retail trade, and construction sectors have captured most of the collection gains to date.”

“Natural gas prices fell slightly in October,” noted Robinson. The October price at the Opal Hub averaged $3.67 per thousand cubic feet (mcf), down from the $3.81 per mcf average in September. By comparison, the October 2013 price came in at $3.64 per mcf. West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices continued to weaken, averaging $85.71 per bbl. in October, down from the September average of $93.22 per bbl. and $14.79 per bbl. less than a year ago.

The oil rig count increased to 37 for September, three better than August, while conventional gas rigs increased to 21 for the month, 2 higher than August. Applications for permit to drill for oil continued to increase in a year-to-date comparison. Applications reached 2,556 through the end of September compared to 1,492 in 2013. The number of oil and gas jobs remained at 18,000 in September, but 700 more than a year ago.