Park County & Wyoming Did Better Than U.S. in Spring Jobs
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 25, 2021
Wyoming is easing back into normal employment patterns, as the Equality State fares better than the rest of the nation when it comes to jobs.
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services released the state’s latest unemployment numbers on Monday, May 23. Once again, the numbers suggest Wyoming is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and returning to pre-pandemic trends.
Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly from 5.3% in March to 5.4% in April. The total labor force – the sum of employed and unemployed individuals – increased by 5,141 people or 1.8% from this time in 2020.
Unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern from March to April and fell in most counties around the state. Unemployment rates often decrease in April as seasonal job gains occur in construction, retail trade, and professional & business services.
However, Wyoming’s unemployment rate remains much lower than the current U.S. rate of 6.1%.
The Bighorn Basin did particularly well this spring. Park and Big Horn counties both saw their unemployment rates decrease between March and April.
Park County’s rate went down nearly a full percentage, from 5.9% to 5.1%. Big Horn County’s decrease was even more, down from 6.1% to 5.3%.
Teton County was the exception to the downward. Its unemployment rate rose nearly 3% from 4.2% in March to 7.0% in April, largely due to the end of the ski season and its seasonal positions.
From April 2020 to April 2021, jobless rates rose in 16 counties and fell in seven counties.
The largest increases occurred in:
- Converse (up from 4.1% to 6.1%)
- Niobrara (up from 2.6% to 4.1%)
- Big Horn (up from 3.9% to 5.3%)
- Uinta (up from 5.5% to 6.3%) counties.
Unemployment rates fell in the following counties:
- Teton (down from 12.5% to 7.0%)
- Park (down from 5.9% to 5.1%)
- Laramie (down from 5.4% to 4.6%)
- Johnson (down from 5.9% to 5.2%)
Natrona County had the highest unemployment rate in April at 7.4%. Sublette County followed it at 7.1%, Teton County at 7.0%, and Sweetwater County at 6.8%. Wyoming’s lowest unemployment rates were in Weston County at 3.9% and Crook and Albany counties, each at 4.0%.
Meanwhile, total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) rose from 257,100 in April 2020 to 267,900 in April 2021, increasing 4.2% or 10,800 jobs. Nonfarm employment was unusually low in April 2020 because of COVID-19’s widespread economic disruption.
The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services collects, analyzes, and publishes timely and accurate labor market information meeting established statistical standards. Wyomingites can find Research & Planning’s monthly employment news releases here.