The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained unchanged from December to January at 3.7%. Wyoming’s unemployment rate was slightly higher than its January 2019 level of 3.5% and very similar to the U.S. unemployment rate of 3.6%. The state’s labor force grew by an estimated 1,772 people, or 0.6% from a year earlier.
From January 2019 to January 2020, unemployment rates fell in 13 counties, rose in eight counties and were unchanged in Campbell and Fremont counties. The largest increases occurred in Sweetwater (up from 4.5% to 5.4%), Platte (up from 3.8% to 4.6%), and Sublette (up from 5.1% to 5.9%) counties. The largest decreases were seen in Johnson (down from 5.1% to 4.5%) and Crook (down from 3.6% to 3.1%) counties.
Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from December to January. Colder weather and the end of the holiday shopping season often bring seasonal job losses in January in many sectors, including construction, retail trade, government, and professional & business services. Large increases in unemployment were seen in Big Horn (up from 3.7% to 5.4%), Washakie (up from 3.6% to 4.6%), Sheridan (up from 3.4% to 4.3%), Sublette (up from 5.0% to 5.9%), and Sweetwater (up from 4.5% to 5.4%) counties. Teton County’s unemployment rate fell from 2.9% to 2.7%.
Sublette County posted the highest unemployment rate in January at 5.9%. It was followed by Fremont County at 5.6%, and Big Horn and Sweetwater counties, each at 5.4%. The lowest unemployment rates occurred in Teton County at 2.7%, Converse County at 3.0%, Crook County at 3.1%, and Weston County at 3.2%.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) decreased from 280,900 in January 2019 to 280,500 in January 2020, a slight decline of 400 jobs (-0.1%).
Research & Planning has scheduled the February unemployment news release for March 31, 2020.