Economy

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More than two dozen outdoor advocacy groups wrote the US Forest Service this week, asking it to remove almost 45,000 acres-worth of land in the Wyoming Range from consideration for oil and gas leases.

The organizations, including Trout Unlimited and the Wyoming Wildlife Federation, said the land comprises vital habitat for mule deer, moose and cutthroat trout.

Wyoming’s job market slows after boom

Feb 14, 2013

Wyoming’s economy is slowing down. That’s according to numbers from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.

In the second quarter of 2012, job growth was up, especially in the construction sector. Employment increased in 18 Wyoming counties. At almost 1,700 new jobs, Natrona County led the state.

But Department Senior Economist David Bullard says the numbers for the third quarter of 2012 will show a different picture…

A poll conducted by Colorado College reveals that 73% of Wyoming voters think of themselves as conservationists. Program coordinator Brendan Boepple says polled residents also believe that public lands support the state’s economy and that they should not be sold to alleviate deficits.

Willow Belden

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says this year’s hay crop will be the worst in decades, because of the drought. Hay is already in short supply, and prices have spiked. Wyoming Public Radio’s Willow Belden reports that the hay shortage is forcing ranchers to make tough choices and could have a lingering economic impact on the state’s ag industry.

A lot has been said about falling gas prices in the state and how that is hurting the state budget.  But a quick look at the most recent economic numbers shows that the Wyoming economy may be better than you think.  Jim Robinson is a senior economist with Wyoming’s Division of Economic Analysis.  This is the last month of the fiscal year and he tells Bob Beck that things look good.

Despite concern about the Wyoming economy, a new report from the state economic analysis division actually shows that things have greatly improved in the last year.  Jim Robinson, a Senior Economist with the division, notes that sales tax numbers are up about 12 percent from a year ago; oil and gas jobs have increased and despite lower than expected gas prices, rig counts are virtually the same as 2011. 

The American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC has given Wyoming high marks for its economic policies.  The state was ranked number one for its economic performance over the last ten years,and ALEC ranks Wyoming as having the forth best economic outlook.  

The group’s Jonathon Williams says some of the reason for this is obviously due to Wyoming’s energy industry.  But he credits the state for having the initiative to utilize itsresourceseffectively.

The Majority Floor Leader of the Wyoming House of Representatives says that for the first time, lawmakers will need to think about the world around them when they vote on energy issues. 

Gillette Republican Tom Lubnau says that markets are suddenly available for Wyoming energy and technology is a big part of this. 

Lubnau says he was pleased Governor Mead mentioned thinking beyond our borders in his state of the state message, because he believes that needs to be a focus.

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