By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s unemployment rate dropped again in August from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March, the Department of Workforce Services announced this week.
The state’s unemployment rate was at 6.6% in August, down from 7.1% in July. The jobless rate has decreased in each of the past four months and is currently lower than the United States average rate of 8.4%.
Unemployment rates decreased in August in almost all Wyoming counties.
The largest decreases occurred in Washakie County (from 6.3% to 5.2%), Teton County (from 5.7% to 4.6%), Sweetwater County (down from 8.8% to 7.8%) and Sheridan County (down from 5.2% to 4.2%).
Lincoln County saw a slight rise in its rates, going from 5.4% to 5.7% in August. The smallest increases occurred in Albany County (from 3.1% to 3.3%) and Goshen County (from 3.6% to 4.3%).
Compared to August 2019, unemployment rates were up in every county, but the largest increases compared to one year ago were in Natrona County (from 3.7% to 9.4%), Sweetwater County (from 3.4% to 7.8%), Converse County (from 2.4% to 6.4%) and Campbell County (from 4.3% to 8.2%).
Natrona County had the highest unemployment rate in the state in August at 9.4%.
Other high unemployment rates in Wyoming were in Campbell County (8.2%), Sweetwater County (7.8%) and Uinta County (7.3%).
The lowest unemployment rates in Wyoming were seen in Albany County (3.3%) and Weston, Niobrara and Crook counties, all at 3.9%.
Total non-farm employment in Wyoming decreased from 297,000 in August 2019 to 277,200 this year, a decline of 20,700 or 6.9%.