Economy

Screenshot from the report with a flow chart of carbon technology
American Jobs Project

A new report from the American Jobs Project outlines how Wyoming could become an economic leader in carbon technology. That includes developing activated carbon, graphene – a type of metal – carbon foam, and nanotubes. Those are materials that go into home insulations, concrete, and transmission lines.

Today’s jobs report that puts unemployment at a low of 3.9%  is not necessarily good news for companies competing for potential workers, especially in rural areas, where it’s already challenging to attract labor. Businesses and governments are coming up with creative solutions.

GREYS RIVER WILDLIFE HABITAT MANAGEMENT AREA

A new study by the University of Wyoming suggests elk feedgrounds actually do more harm than good. By ending the practice, it could help slow down a deadly disease.

HARVEY BARRISON VIA FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Income inequality has risen in every state since the 1970s. That's according to a new report published by the Economic Policy Institute — a left-leaning non-profit think tank. The most unequal metro area is right here in our region.

Kamila Kudelska


Wyoming’s agriculture industry is trying its hand at blockchain technology. Beefchain.io, a private company, is one of those businesses that started after Wyoming passed a number of pro-blockchain laws. The goal is to use blockchain technology to track data points about cattle and share the information with consumers: pasture to plate.

Cooper McKim


On Laramie's western edge, TNT Motorsports is lined with dirt bikes, Sea-Doo watercrafts, and gear with neon and flashy patterns. Yamaha and Fox logos hang on the wall as a yellow-shirted customer eyes the latest YZ 450 dirt bike.

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CC0 Public Domain

Revenue is up nearly across the board in Wyoming — that’s according to the July update of the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group. CREG reports that the state general fund saw a $294 million increase in revenue - up 27 percent from the January forecast. Oil and gas production has also led to more tax revenue and helped revive industries such as manufacturing and transportation.

Breakdown of direct, indirect, and induced jobs per 100 new employees for wind, coal, and slaughterhouses
Patrick Manning, Matthew Halama, Wyoming Department of Workforce Services / Wyoming Department of Workforce Services

A new report outlining the status of Wyoming's economy and workforce shows slaughterhouses could create more indirect and induced jobs than wind and coal state lines employees.

Utah and Idaho were the leading states for employment growth over the past year, according to new data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Also in the top five were Nevada and Colorado.

Caitlin Youngquist

The University of Wyoming (UW) is embarking on a new age by increasing its focus on economic development and entrepreneurship. One new project is taking this vision even further by trying to develop a new niche agricultural market for the state by producing first-grains, and the key to this innovation is actually ancient. 

Cody Laboratories Inc.

Just a few months ago Cody Laboratories was gearing for a $50.5 million expansion that would add 57 new jobs. But in April, it announced the expansion was going to be postponed because funding never came through. Now the facility, owned by the Lannett Company, is facing close to 50 layoffs. That's more than a third of the staff. 

Leonard J. DeFrancisci via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.


Travel and hospitality is the second largest industry in Wyoming. As tourists flood the state in summer, the industry relies on seasonal workers to keep things running smoothly. But more and more, seasonal workers have been harder to come by in the local workforce so businesses depend on visa programs that bring in foreign guest workers. The two most commonly used are the J-1 visa, which sponsors students, and the H-2B visa, which brings in workers to fill in temporary, non-agricultural positions.

Caroline Ballard

Walk around Jackson this summer, and you can expect to see a few things: lots of people, lots of traffic, and lots of help wanted signs.

Supreme Court Opinion on South Dakota vs. Wayfair, Inc.
SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES

Wyoming will soon enjoy a significant new source of tax revenue — that’s thanks to a Supreme Court decision Thursday. Since 1992, online retailers have not been forced to collect or pay state sales taxes.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may seem like an unlikely champion for an illegal substance, but the Kentucky Republican just added the legalization of marijuana’s non-psychoactive cousin, hemp, to the Senate farm bill. The industrial hemp business is increasingly seen as an economic savior and substitute for vulnerable industries like mining, especially in Colorado, one of the first states in the nation to make hemp legal at the state level.

Leonard J. DeFrancisci via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Many hotels and restaurants in Cody don't have enough seasonal workers this year. This is partly because of a regulation change to a foreign workers visa program.

Courtesy of Ken Lund, Flickr Creative Commons

Last month, Yellowstone National Park experienced the busiest May on record with close to 450,000 visits to the park. With visitation trends only going up, the park is trying to understand what decisions will have to be made in the future.

Bureau of Land Management

Driving west across Wyoming, there are windmills lined up across bluffs in the distance. Oil and gas rigs dot both sides of the highway. Open-pit coal mines too. What you won’t see on a cross-state trip are any fields of solar panels. In Sweetwater County, that could soon change.

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

 

Laramie is working towards becoming the fourth community in Wyoming to gain “age-friendly” status, especially for older people. This week the second session of the AARP Age-Friendly Laramie Initiative was held at the Lincoln Community Center on May 31. 

You’ve probably heard about the GDP or those “best places to live” rankings. The Family Prosperity Index also factors in family life as a measure of well-being. And the latest rankings show Mountain West states doing pretty well.

 

It’s an international agreement but Trump's decision to leave the nuclear deal with Iran could be felt in our region for good and for bad.

Wyoming Community Colleges/ENDOW/University of Wyoming

Less than half of adults in Wyoming have completed education beyond high school, but Governor Matt Mead says for the sake of Wyoming’s economy that must change. In fact, his first executive order of 2018 called for 67 percent of Wyomingites to have advanced degrees by 2025. To address achievement gaps and to encourage underserved populations like first-generation college students and adult learners to pursue higher education, the governor's economic diversification committee ENDOW recommends the creation of a need-based state financial aid program

National parks tourism pumped nearly $36 billion into the U.S. economy last year, and communities just outside the parks benefited the most. That’s where more than 330 million visitors dropped more than $18-billion-dollars and supported 255 thousand jobs.

Just Transition Fund

Google has given a million dollars to an organization devoted to helping coal communities as the industry declines. It’s part of a wider $50 million initiative announced Tuesday focused on the future of work.

money
CC0 Public Domain

In another sign that Wyoming’s economy is improving, statewide inflation increased by just over two percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Jimmy Emerson via Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Mountain West states like Montana, Colorado and Utah are seeing unprecedented population growth right now. In fact, Idaho is the fastest growing state in the nation. But that’s not the case in Wyoming where the population is shrinking. 

 

Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources Facebook page

The ENDOW initiative is Wyoming’s latest attempt to diversify its economy. For author Samuel Western shaping the state's future, requires an examination of how Wyoming imagines its past. Western will explore this idea and lead a discussion at the University of Wyoming on April 5. 

Idaho and Colorado saw some of the nation's leading growth in wages this past year. But other western states, including Montana and Wyoming, lagged behind according to the latest report from the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Screen shot from March 21-23, 2018 UW Board of Trustees' Report

A new effort at the University of Wyoming is designed to turn academic research into businesses. The creation of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship got a vote of approval from the UW board of trustees last week.

Bob Beck


The Wyoming Legislature spent roughly $40 million on a variety of economic development initiatives aimed at creating jobs and diversifying the economy. Some left the session very excited about what they did while others were anxious.

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