Wyoming Jobless Rate Down But So Is The Workforce
Wyoming's unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent in June from May's 4.1 percent, but a senior state economist says the overall employment numbers don't offer much reason to celebrate.
He points out the seasonally adjusted employment numbers for the state fell by 2,088 people, a decrease of about 0.7 percent. That dwarfs the drop in unemployment of 0.2 percent by a full half-a-percentage point.
The same trend can be seen in a year-over-year comparison of state unemployment. The state jobless rate fell from 5.5 percent to 3.9 percent from June 2016 to last month, a decline of 1.6 percent. But the labor force over that same period fell by 5,210 people or about 1.7 percent.
Bullard says the overall numbers are a clear indication that a significant number of state residents have either moved away or given up looking for work. Fremont County had the highest unemployment rate last month at 5.4 percent. It was followed by Natrona County (5.3 percent), Campbell County (5.1 percent) and Sweetwater County (4.5 percent).
The last three are all major energy producing counties and have been especially hard-hit by the downturn in the state's energy industries.
Teton County had the lowest unemployment rate in June at 2.2 percent. Crook and Goshen County were next at 3.1 percent.
Albany County recorded a 3.3 percent jobless figure in June, while Laramie County had an unemployment rate of 3.7 percent.