Oil And Gas Jobs Still Rare Despite High Production And Overall Job, Tax Collection Increase

Feb 28, 2019

Nonfarm wage and salary employment.8 (Growth by Industry Sector: Year‐over‐year by percent and jobs; seasonally adjusted)
Credit Wyoming Economic Analysis Division

Sales and use tax collection increased by nearly 11 percent for the state compared fiscal year 2018, according to a new report from Wyoming's Economic Analysis Division. Campbell and Converse Counties had the largest gains in collections each seeing about $10 million more.

Jim Robinson, principal economist with the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division, said retail and mining led with the largest gains. He said activity in mining often picks up other industries, too.

"We know that happens with the mining sector, that there's two or three other industries that are tied in directly with mining. So, when mining goes up, industries also take off a little bit. Retail trade is one of them. Leisure and hospitality typically has more action," Robinson said.

Mining did see job increases, though coal and oil and gas jobs both stayed about the same. That's despite major increases in oil and gas production over the past year.

"That reflects the attitude now in the oil and gas industry is where they're really reluctant to hire people as they have to. They're relying more on automation than they have in the past," Robinson said.

The biggest job increase was within support activities for oil and gas - about 400 positions, according to Robinson. Overall, Wyoming saw 8,000 more jobs at the end of last year compared to the prior year; a gain of about 3 percent. Jobless rates stayed the same.