Economy

Cody Labs

Last week, the Philadelphia-based Lannette Company, which owns Cody Labs, announced it will close all operations in Cody. Cody Labs produces generic prescription pain medications. But the actions of some in Cody may indicate workers and officials there are not giving up hope.

If you’re in the market for a new tent or fleece jacket, you could see prices for those products go up. The Trump Administration is proposing new tariffs on items like these that are produced in China.

 


Kamila Kudelska

If you've never been to a Shopko, it's similar to a small Walmart. You can get groceries, apparel and lawn products all in one place. They're usually found in small towns.

Back in March, Shopko announced it will be closing all its locations, and it's a big deal for small towns. This is a big deal but towns throughout the Big Horn Basin are being proactive about the news.

Tony Webster via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Four communities in the Big Horn Basin joined forces to find solutions when they learned Shopko would be leaving their towns. The retail store's bankruptcy will affect 13 communities in Wyoming.

Rocky Mountain Power plans to break ground on a $3.1 billion-dollar statewide wind energy project this week.

Tennessee Watson / Wyoming Public Radio

Gov. Mark Gordon addressed the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees Thursday.

Jim Bridger Power Plant
Pacificorp

Rocky Mountain Power is proposing a unique strategy to lower emissions at the coal-fired Jim Bridger power plant near Rock Springs: reduce its capacity. The utility is required under federal law and within Wyoming's state implementation plan to reduce certain emissions before 2022. Enacted in 1999, the regional haze rule, is meant to limit pollutants that disrupt visibility like nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide.

Leslie L./Flickr Creative Commons

Earlier this month, the Wyoming Department of Agriculture submitted its application to the federal government outlining the state's plan for regulating hemp growing in the state. Legislation passed this year by lawmakers provided funding to move forward on the plan, but Wyoming's Hemp Program Coordinator Scott McDonald said the U.S. Department of Agriculture won't look at state regulations for the industry until they've finished designing federal rules. 

According to the Census Bureau, Western towns with fewer than 5000 people have grown on average in recent years. Meanwhile, populations in similar sized towns in the Northeast and Midwest have gotten smaller.

Pixabay / Mashiro Momo

A new study from the Pew Charitable Trusts looked at how long each state could survive on their rainy day funds alone. Wyoming came out on top. The Cowboy State could stay afloat for just over a year on its rainy day reserves. States put these funds aside to prepare for an unexpected spending spike, like in a natural disaster, or to help balance a budget shortfall during a recession.

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

Ameen Al-Ghetta/USFWS

Wildlife based recreation in Wyoming increased by three percent in 2017 from the year before. That's according to a new analysis by the University of Wyoming. This is the second time the University of Wyoming analyzed the economic contribution of big game hunting, fishing and wildlife watching in the state.

Kamila Kudelska

It's a windy and freezing afternoon in Cody. A bunch of women are gathered around a table at the Chamberlin Inn in Cody, chatting about the dynamic of their relationships.

Cities in the Mountain West are seeing some of the strongest economic growth in the nation. That’s according to an annual analysis by the Milken Institute.

 


Bob Beck

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead is wrapping up his time in office. Bob Beck caught up with him at an event in Cheyenne this week. They discuss the difficulties Mead had in cutting the budget and why Wyoming's economic future looks so positive. Mead also talks about his biggest disappointment, which is not making a difference when it comes to providing affordable and accessible health care.

Bob Beck / Wyoming Public Radio

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead said he wants to provide pay raises to state employees and K-12 educators in the state. The proposal is part of the governor's supplemental budget. Community College employees and some classified staff at the University of Wyoming would also be eligible for raises. Mead said the time is right.

Over the past decade or so, the Mountain West has seen rapid population growth, but there are parts of the region that are slowing down.

Elizabeth Garner, the State Demographer for Colorado, said that for a while the Mountain West has had the advantage of lower costs and more space. But since 2015, Colorado’s growth rate has been declining, which means that “we’re still increasing, just by not as many,” said Garner.

Photo by Benson Kua via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

In order to convince tech companies to set up shop in Wyoming, some believe there needs to be a statewide anti-discrimination law on the books. That would change state law to provide protections to LGBTQ people that others already have. Supporters say such a law will resolve a perception problem the state has had since the murder of Matthew Shepard.

Falmouth Public Library

The Wyoming Joint Revenue Committee has voted to move forward with an optional municipal tax. It would allow any Wyoming town or city to institute its own one-cent sales tax to fund specific projects, a new source of revenue proponents say is sorely needed.

Gunwerks

The Wyoming Business Council has recommended full funding to expand the Gunwerks firearms manufacturing facility in Cody. The project is expected to bring in up to 66 new jobs.

The 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express

Wyoming is ranked 42nd in the nation for growth of women-owned businesses since 2007, with a 22 percent increase in that time. That’s compared to a 58 percent increase of women-owned businesses nationwide. But Wyoming still ranks in the top ten for women’s businesses that employ large numbers of people.

Bob Beck

The Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming Committee or ENDOW presented a 20-year plan to the legislature’s Joint Revenue, Business and Economic Development Committee and generally got good support. 

endowyo.biz

After a year and a half of meetings and planning, the initiative called the Economically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming, or ENDOW, has released its 20-year strategic plan

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.

money
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.

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