The principal economist for the state's Economic Analysis Division says  there are hopeful  signs for the oil industry in Wyoming.

Jim Robinson says it looks like crude oil prices ''may have hit the floor" and are showing signs of recovery.

Robinson notes that while the latest rig counts are down 'that wasn't unexpected". He says the drop in rig counts are slowing down, and, perhaps  more importantly, drilling permit applications are actually increasing.

Robinson says that's the best indicator of future oil industry activity. He says there were 1,100 oil drilling permit applications filed in Wyoming in March compared with 534 permit applications in March of 2014.

But not all of the news is good. Robinson says there were 700 fewer total oil and gas jobs in March in Wyoming compared with March of 2014. And while oil prices have been edging upward, natural gas prices dropped by 5.7 percent from March to April of this year at the Opal hub in western Wyoming.