The Lander Workforce Center

(Casper, Wyo.) – The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that total unemployment insurance (UI) covered payroll increased by $48.7 million (1.5%) in fourth quarter 2013. Employment rose by 1,507 jobs (0.5%) and average weekly wage increased by $8 (0.9%).

In the fourth quarter, employment grew faster than its five year average (0.5% compared to -0.4%), total wages grew faster than their five year average (1.5% compared to 1.1%), but average weekly wage grew slower than its five year average (0.9% compared to 1.6%). Job losses in the mining sector (including oil & gas) were smaller than in third quarter (-409 jobs, or -1.5% compared to -729 jobs, or -2.7%). 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, 2014). 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 remained approximately 7,000 jobs (2.4%) below its fourth quarter 2008 level. In short, the state has yet to make up all the job losses of 2009 and 2010.

Visit our website for a complete set of tables. Employment rose in 13 counties and fell in 10 counties (see Table). Total payroll increased in 17 counties and decreased in 6 counties.

Fremont County’s employment dropped by 1.1 percent (188 jobs) but the total payroll increased by 2.4 percent from $171,205,065 to $175,308,908. The Average Weekly Wage of a Fremont County worker went up by $28 per week, from $777 to $805 or 3.6 percent.

Laramie County gained 1,295 jobs (2.9%), but its total payroll fell by $9.0 million (-1.8%). Large job growth was seen in construction, retail trade, transportation & warehousing, accommodation & food services, and other services. The decline in total payroll in retail trade (-$16.6 million, or -30.2%) was related to a large bonus paid in fourth quarter 2012, but not repeated in 2013.

Teton County added 680 jobs (4.2%), but its total payroll fell by $1.7 million (-0.9%). Large job gains were seen in construction, retail trade, accommodation & food services, educational services, and professional & technical services. The decrease in total payroll appears related to the large bonuses that were paid in fourth quarter 2012, but not repeated in 2013. This was seen in management of companies & enterprises and finance & insurance.

Natrona County added 441 jobs (1.1%) and its total payroll rose by $14.2 million (2.6%). Job gains in accommodation & food services, wholesale trade, local government (including public schools & colleges), retail trade, and health care & social  assistance were partially offset by job losses in other services and manufacturing.

Employment increased by 401 jobs (5.8%) in Carbon County and its total payroll rose by $10.1 million (13.5%). Sizeable job gains occurred in construction, administrative & waste services, and accommodation & food services.

Sweetwater County lost 675 jobs (-2.7%) and its total payroll fell by $4.6 million (-1.3%). Notable job losses were seen in construction and mining (including oil & gas). Employment increased in real estate & rental & leasing, management of companies & enterprises, and administrative & waste services.

Employment fell by 260 jobs (-2.9%) in Uinta County, but its total payroll rose by $27.9 million (28.9%). Small job losses were seen in many sectors, including construction, mining, accommodation & food services, other services, and local government. Construction payroll increased by $28.6 million.

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