The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady from November to December at 3.7%. Wyoming’s unemployment rate was lower than its December 2018 level of 4.1%, but slightly higher than the current U.S. rate of 3.5%. Wyoming’s labor force increased by an estimated 3,204 people or 1.1% from December 2018 to December 2019.
From December 2018 to December 2019, unemployment rates fell in 17 counties and rose in six counties. The largest decreases occurred in Big Horn (down from 5.4% to 3.7%), Washakie (down from 4.2% to 3.4%), Lincoln (down from 4.2% to 3.4%), Sheridan (down from 4.0% to 3.3%), and Campbell (down from 3.8% to 3.1%) counties. Unemployment rates rose in Niobrara (up from 2.5% to 3.2%), Goshen (up from 3.0% to 3.4%), and Hot Springs (up from 3.7% to 4.0%) counties.
Most county unemployment rates changed very little from November to December. Teton County was an exception. Its unemployment rate fell from 5.2% in November to 2.9% in December as the winter tourist season got into full swing. In other areas of the state, unemployment rates were likely affected by seasonal job losses in construction and other sectors. Platte County’s unemployment rate rose from 2.9% in November to 3.9% in December and Fremont County’s unemployment rate rose from 4.1% to 4.7%.
Weston County reported the lowest unemployment rate at 2.5% in December. It was followed by Albany County at 2.7%, and Teton and Crook counties, each at 2.9%. The highest unemployment rates were found in Sublette County at 4.9% and Fremont County at 4.7%.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) decreased from 286,000 in December 2018 to 282,500 in December 2019, a decline of 3,500 jobs (-1.2%).