Wyoming Unemployment Rate Dips to 4 Percent
The unemployment rate in Wyoming shifted down to an even 4 percent last month, well below the national rate of 5.1 percent. The Research and Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services says that the change is not significant, but a minor fluctuation reflective of a fairly level economy. For the past nine months, that number has hovered between 4.0 and 4.2 percent, despite a downturn in the energy industry.
Most county unemployment rates followed their seasonal patterns. Counties where energy extraction is most prevalent experienced a modest increase. Natrona County saw a rise to 4.4 percent, and in Fremont County, the number grew to 5.2 percent. Sublette, Campbell, and Converse counties also had rate increases.
Albany County is one of nine counties in Wyoming that saw an average unemployment rate of 3.9 percent or less from Aug. 2014 to July 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the statewide number has increased from last summer. From March through June of 2014, the average unemployment rate for all of Wyoming ranged between 3.7 and 4.0 percent.
Park County remains well below the state average, sitting at 3.1 percent in August. Teton County did particularly well last month. The unemployment rate there was 1.9 percent as the tourism industry boomed, as it typically does in the second half of the summer. Lincoln and Niobrara counties both saw a significant decrease from the same period last year. The rate in Crook County also dropped by quite a bit, down to 2.4 percent from 3.5 percent at this time last year.
While unemployment rates fluctuate, the actual number of people who are unemployed decreased by 970 from August of 2014 to a total of 11,004. The number of employed people is up by nearly 3,000 from this time last year, but it is down over 2,000 from July when it rested at 302,652. The total labor force in Wyoming added almost 2,000 people since a year ago, but it has similarly decreased by about 3,000 since July of this year, when it was 314,114.