The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly from 3.6% in November to 3.7% in December. Wyoming’s unemployment rate was lower than its December 2021 level of 4.0%, but marginally higher than the current U.S. unemployment rate of 3.5%.
From November to December, most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased. Unemployment rates often rise in December as winter weather causes seasonal job losses in construction and other sectors. The largest increases in unemployment occurred in Big Horn (up from 3.2% to 3.8%), Sweetwater (up from 3.6% to 4.2%), Crook (up from 2.4% to 2.9%), and Hot Springs (up from 2.4% to 2.9%) counties. Teton County’s unemployment rate fell from 3.8% in November to 2.4% in December as the start of the ski season boosted employment.
In December, most counties saw unemployment increase from year-ago levels. The largest increases were seen in Carbon (up from 3.0% to 3.8%), Niobrara (up from 2.4% to 3.1%), and Washakie (up from 3.0% to 3.7%) counties. Jobless rates fell in Converse (down from 3.3% to 2.7%), Campbell (down from 3.6% to 3.2%), and Natrona (down from 4.2% to 3.9%) counties.
Sweetwater County posted the highest unemployment rate at 4.2% in December. It was followed by Sublette County at 4.1%, Natrona County at 3.9%, Big Horn County at 3.8%, and Carbon County at 3.8%. The lowest unemployment rates were found in Weston and Teton counties, each at 2.4%.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) rose from 280,300 in December 2021 to 285,800 in December 2022, an increase of 5,500 jobs (2.0%).
Research & Planning has scheduled the January unemployment news release for March 14, 2023.