Wyoming employment growth nearly flat in first quarter of 2013

— November 8, 2013
[Press Release] The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that total unemployment insurance (UI) covered payroll increased by $31.4 million (1.1%) in first quarter 2013. Employment rose by 460 jobs (0.2%) and average weekly wage increased by $7 (0.8%). In first quarter, Wyoming employment grew slightly faster than its five year average, but total wages and average weekly wage both grew at a slower pace than their five year averages. Job losses in the mining sector (including oil & gas) became deeper (-1,700 jobs, or -6.0%) and overall job growth weakened further. Additionally, employment at temporary help agencies fell by approximately 250 jobs. Temporary employment is often cited nationally as a leading economic indicator, so this decrease may suggest continued weakness in the state’s economy. In terms of dollars, UI covered payroll represents approximately 91.5% of all wage and salary disbursements and 43.8% of personal income in the state (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, 2013). Analysts have noted that “minerals related employment is one of the key predictors of sales and use tax revenue” in Wyoming (CREG 2010).

Despite the recent growth, overall employment remains approximately 5,700 jobs (2.1%) below its first quarter 2008 level. In short, the state has yet to make up all the job losses of 2009 and 2010.

Employment rose in 12 counties, fell in ten counties, and was unchanged in Lincoln County (see Table). Total payroll increased in 17 counties and decreased in six counties.

Visit our website at http://doe.state.wy.us/LMI/13Q1_QCEW/toc.htm for a complete set of tables.

Natrona County added 1,019 jobs (2.6%) and its total payroll increased by $12.7 million (2.7%). The largest job gains occurred in construction, accommodation & food services, health care & social assistance, and transportation & warehousing. Job losses were seen in administrative & waste services and manufacturing.

Laramie County’s employment rose by 636 jobs (1.5%) and its total payroll increased by $21.8 million (5.0%). Strong growth was seen in construction, accommodation & food services, retail trade, and local government. Employment fell in administrative & waste services and professional & technical services.

Teton County added 415 jobs (2.6%) and its total payroll rose by $21.2 million (13.5%). Large job gains were seen in accommodation & food services, educational services, construction, real estate & rental & leasing, administrative & waste services, and professional & technical services. It appears that the rapid growth in total payroll (13.5%) and average weekly wage (10.7%) was related to bonuses paid in management of companies & enterprises and wholesale trade.

Converse County gained 237 jobs (4.1%) and its total payroll increased by $4.4 million (7.2%). Employment increased in mining (including oil & gas) and transportation & warehousing.

Sublette County lost 1,011 jobs (-17.6%) and its total payroll fell by $17.1 million (-19.1%). Mining (including oil & gas) lost approximately 650 jobs and construction lost more than 150 jobs. More modest job losses occurred in accommodation & food services, retail trade, and professional & technical services.

Campbell County’s employment fell by 696 jobs (-2.5%) and its total payroll decreased by $16.2 million (-4.1%). Mining posted the largest job losses, falling by more than 450 jobs. Within mining, coal mining lost nearly 400 jobs, and oil & gas employment also decreased. Smaller job losses were seen in construction, other services, wholesale trade, and transportation & warehousing. Employment increased in local government (including public schools, colleges, & hospitals).

Preview—Second Quarter (April through June) 2013 Covered Employment & Wages

According to preliminary data, job growth remained very slow in second quarter. Total payroll rose by $17.5 million (0.6%) and employment increased by 390 jobs (0.1%). The largest job gains occurred in accommodation & food services (approximately 750 jobs), local government (including public schools, colleges, & hospitals; approximately 300 jobs), retail trade (approximately 300 jobs), and health care & social assistance (approximately 250 jobs). Large job losses were seen in mining (including oil & gas; approximately 1,450 jobs) and other services (approximately 400 jobs).
Detailed covered employment and wages data for 2nd Quarter 2013 are scheduled to be released on February 21, 2014

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