The December 2013 issue of the Wyoming Insight has been released and is available at the State of Wyoming's Economic Analysis Division website.  Jim Robinson, principal economist for the state’s Economic Analysis Division, says after completing the first five months of fiscal 2014, sales and use tax collections were $8.8 million (+2.8%) better than last year through the end of November.

Natural gas prices rebounded in December with the Opal Hub price averaging $4.62 per thousand cubic feet (mcf) for the month (through the 23rd). By comparison, the November 2013 average price was $3.53 per mcf while the December 2012 price came in at $3.33 per mcf. The West Texas Intermediate (WTI) price of crude oil bounced back from a November slide, averaging $93.68 per bbl. for December. After reaching $97.32 per bbl. in October, the November average price of WTI dropped to $90.60 per bbl.

The conventional gas rig count held steady at 18 in November, while oil rigs increased by 6 to 37 for the month in comparison to October numbers. In addition, applications for permit to drill (APD), recorded year-over-year increases for eight of last eleven months, starting in January 2013. The number of oil and gas jobs in November improved to 16,500, compared to October’s level of 16,400. Looking back a year ago, this subsector of the mining industry was averaging 17,000 jobs.

Finally, Wyoming’s personal income increased from $27.9 billion in 2011 to $29.1 billion in 2012, according to revised estimates released on September 30, 2013 by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.