By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming lost more than 25,000 jobs in the second quarter of fiscal 2020, a recent analysis confirmed.
The Wyoming Department of Administration and Information released its economic summary of the second quarter on Monday, which ran from February through April. The summary noted that compared to the same period in 2019, Wyoming’s employment fell by 8.9%, or 25,890 jobs, during the peak of the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic during the second quarter of the year.
Nationally, employment declined by 11.3% during the same period..
Wyoming’s unemployment rate of 8.9% during the period was the highest seen in the state since the first quarter of 1987. The leisure and hospitality industry (mainly restaurant and lodging) saw the biggest hit, with 10,700 jobs lost during the quarter.
The state’s mining industry also saw major losses, with about one-fifth of the industry’s employees being laid off due to “plunging” oil and natural gas prices that were affected by low energy demand caused by restrictions on businesses and travel.
Manufacturing was the only industry in Wyoming that wasn’t affected by the pandemic, and employment increased slightly compared to 2019, the report said.
However, Wyoming’s total personal income (income received by all residents from all sources) grew by 7.7% this year, the largest increase seen since the first quarter of 2018. The U.S. also saw a personal income grow by 10.4%.
The report also noted that visitation was down at both national parks during the second quarter, but this was due to the complete closure of both park because of the pandemic.
Lodging sales for the state were down by 49.6% compared to one year ago, which again was caused by the park closures, as well as a decline in mineral activities in the state.