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Statewide Unemployment Numbers Are Surprising

Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remains at four percent, but those numbers are being questioned.  

David Bullard is a Senior Economist with the Department of Workforce Services research and planning division. While the latest numbers should that unemployment has increase in energy counties, he says seeing that the overall unemployment rate remains steady is surprising, especially when you consider other economic indicators. 

“Such as the unemployment insurance claims, such as the covered employment and wages, the sales tax revenue data suggests economic slowdown, right the statewide unemployment are not entirely consistent with what we are seeing from other economic indicators.”

Bullard says they are working with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to see if there was an error. The report does show that unemployment fell in 15 of the state’s 23 counties and it clearly rose in areas where energy is a significant employer.

“Natrona County our unemployment rate is up almost a full percentage point over the year and we are seeing increases in Sweetwater, Campbell, and Converse Counties, areas that we know are directly tied in with energy" said Bullard.

Albany and Niobrara Counties have the lowest unemployment rates at two-point-eight percent. 

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.

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