For the first time, Wyoming now has two cities with a population of 60-thousand or more as Casper has gone over the 60-thousand mark. Economist Wenlin Liu says Natrona County is the fastest growing county in the state.
“It grew over eight percent from 2010 to 2014. It was mainly driven by oil exploration in the Powder River Basin. You know Casper has a service center for lots of these training activities, so that’s why they attracted so many workers.”
The Census Bureau says Cheyenne is almost 63-thousand in population. The city of Laramie is the third largest city in the state at 32,081. Liu says Teton County grew the second fastest since 2010 at over seven percent.
“Overall tourism activity is doing really well in the past the few years. For Teton County you mostly attribute that to labor demands for service jobs.”
Liu says he expects population numbers to at least stay steady in coming months despite a decline in oil prices. That’s because the energy employment market is feeling the effects of low oil prices all across the country, so Liu says energy workers in Wyoming will likely look to find employment elsewhere in the state instead of leaving.