Recently released job figures in Wyoming show that, over the course of the pandemic, mining jobs continuing to suffer big losses.

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The Wyoming Economic Analysis Division released a report for the month of April, showing jobs in the mining sector lost the most compared to all other industries.

The mining sector lost 25.3% of its employment, or 4,900 jobs, year over year in March 2021 compared to March 2020.

Dylan Bainer, Principal Economist for the Economic Analysis Division in the Department of Administration and Information, said the large drop in airline travel due to COVID-19 is a major factor in the decrease.

Bainer said that the mining industry has been losing jobs for a long time, as April marks the 15th consecutive month of job losses, with January and February of 2020 each losing 600 jobs year over year compared to 2019, but that the pandemic has exacerbated those job losses.

While the mining industry losing in March 4,900 jobs is bad, it was not the worst months during the pandemic, with August and November of 2020 each seeing 6,000 job losses.

According to Bainer, over the past 10 years, mining jobs in Wyoming have been steadily declining, with mining employment reaching a high of around 28,400 at the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012, and a low this year of around 14,300 in January and February.

Moving forward, Bainer believes mining jobs will bounce back to some degree in the coming months, however in the long term, he doesn't believe the coal industry will return, though oil could fare better.

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