Wyoming Unemployment Closer to “Normal” in February 2022
Written by Andrew-Rossi on March 29, 2022
Despite an overall post-pandemic decline in unemployment across Wyoming, Park County’s unemployment increased slightly from January to February 2022.
The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services released Wyoming’s unemployment numbers for February 2022 on Monday. March 28. As communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment numbers are getting “back to normal.”
In February, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly from 3.8% in January to 3.7%.
Wyoming’s unemployment rate has been trending downward since its peak of 8.6% in May 2020. From January to February, seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents increased by 630 individuals (0.2%) as people returned to work.
From January to February, most county unemployment rates changed very little. However, jobless rates increased slightly in four Wyoming counties.
Park County is amongst the counties with slight increases, rising from 4.2% in January to 4.4% last month.
- Big Horn (up from 4.8% to 5.0%)
- Platte (up from 3.6% to 3.8%)
- Weston (up from 2.9% to 3.1%) counties.
Unemployment rates fell in Niobrara (down from 3.3% to 2.7%), Carbon (down from 4.1% to 3.8%), and Hot Springs (down from 3.4% to 3.2%) counties.
Unemployment rates decreased from year-ago levels in every county. The largest decreases occurred in Natrona (down from 8.3% to 5.0%), Converse (down from 7.1% to 3.8%), and Sublette (down from 8.0% to 4.8%) counties.
County unemployment rates were elevated during most of 2020 and 2021. However, the recent decreases over the last few months suggest that unemployment rates are returning to more normal levels.
February’s highest unemployment rates were found in Big Horn, Natrona, and Sweetwater counties (each at 5.0%). Conversely, the lowest rates were reported in Teton County at 2.5% and Niobrara County at 2.7%.
Big Horn County seems to be struggling more than any other county in the Bighorn Basin. In 2022, the county has had the highest unemployment in Wyoming – and that number continues to decrease.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) rose from 268,100 in February 2021 to 278,700 in February 2022, an increase of 10,600 jobs (4.0%). Employment was lower than normal in February 2021 because of economic disruptions related to the pandemic.