CHEYENNE — The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 4.3% in January to 4.2% in February. Wyoming’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest point since December 2008, when it was 3.9%. Unemployment remained well below its year-ago level of 4.8% and was significantly lower than the current U.S. unemployment rate of 6.7%. Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents increased, rising by 1,639 individuals (0.6%) from January to February.
Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and decreased slightly from January to February. In Wyoming, during a typical year, almost all county unemployment rates peak in January, and then decline through the spring and summer months, reaching their lowest point in August or September. The largest over-the-month unemployment rate decreases were seen in Platte (down from 5.5% to 5.0%), Weston (down from 4.7% to 4.3%), and Park (down from 6.2% to 5.9%) counties.
Compared to a year earlier, unemployment rates fell in every county, perhaps indicating continued economic recovery. The largest declines were reported in Sheridan (down from 7.1% to 5.7%), Teton (down from 5.5% to 4.4%), and Sublette (down from 4.5% to 3.4%) counties.
The highest unemployment rates were found in Lincoln (6.9%), Johnson (6.5%), and Fremont (6.4%) counties. Sublette and Converse counties tied for the lowest unemployment rate (3.4%) and they were followed by Campbell (3.7%), Niobrara (3.8%), and Albany (3.9%) counties.
Total nonfarm employment (measured by place of work) rose from 281,000 in February 2013 to 284,000 in February 2014, a gain of 3,000 jobs (1.1%).
Research & Planning has scheduled the March employment news release for April 22, 2014.