CHEYENNE – The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell very slightly from 4.1 percent in July to 4.0 percent in August (not a statistically significant change).
While the numbers show unemployment rates decreased in 16 counties between the period of August of 2014 to August of 2015, Sweetwater County remained unchanged. However, unemployment dropped from 4.3 percent to 4 percent from July to August. Fremont county had the largest decrease from July to August.
These numbers come despite continued reports of layoffs in the oil and gas field. It was recently reported Halliburton has cancelled flights at the Sweetwater County/Rock Springs Airport due to the number of layoffs.
William Fitzgerald, a spokesman for Halliburton, sent a statement to SweetwaterNOW concerning the changes.
“Halliburton has reduced its global headcount by almost 16,000 employees (approximately 19 percent) since its peak in 2014. The Company will continue to monitor the business environment and will adjust the size of our workforce to align with current business demands as needed,” – Halliburton Statement.
Overall, Wyoming’s unemployment rate has remained within the narrow range of 4.0% to 4.2% in each of the past nine months. Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents increased slightly, rising by an estimated 354 individuals (0.1%) from July to August. This level of over-the-month employment growth is a normal change.
From July to August, most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and fell modestly. The largest decreases occurred in Fremont (down from 5.2% to 4.8%), Sweetwater (down from 4.3% to 4.0%), Crook (down from 2.7% to 2.4%), Carbon (down from 3.1% to 2.8%), and Big Horn (down from 3.9% to 3.6%) counties. Unemployment rates rose slightly in Converse (up from 3.1% to 3.3%), Platte (up from 3.5% to 3.6%), and Weston (up from 2.8% to 2.9%) counties.
From August 2014 to August 2015, unemployment rates decreased in 16 counties, increased in five counties and were unchanged in Johnson and Sweetwater counties. The largest decreases occurred in Crook (down from 3.5% to 2.4%), Teton (down from 2.8% to 1.9%), Niobrara (down from 3.8% to 2.9%), and Lincoln (down from 4.4% to 3.5%) counties.
Unemployment rates increased modestly in Natrona (up from 3.9% to 4.4%), Fremont (up from 4.5% to 4.8%), Sublette (up from 3.7% to 4.0%), Campbell (up from 3.2% to 3.4%), and Converse (up from 3.1% to 3.3%) counties.
Teton County posted the lowest unemployment rate in August (1.9%). The next lowest rates were found in Crook (2.4%), Goshen (2.8%), and Carbon (2.8%) counties. The highest unemployment rates were seen in Fremont (4.8%), Natrona (4.4%), and Uinta (4.1%) counties.
Total nonfarm employment (measured by place of work) rose from 299,900 in August 2014 to 301,600 in August 2015, a gain of 1,700 jobs (0.6%; not a statistically significant change).
Research & Planning has scheduled the September employment news release for October 20, 2015.