By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
After being hit by both a downturn in the energy industry and economic restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, Wyoming lost 14,400 jobs in November compared to one year ago, according to state figures.
The Wyoming Economic Analysis Division, in its report on economic conditions in the state in late 2020, said most of the loss came in the mining sector. However, the state’s retail trade industry actually gained jobs.
The division’s regular report “Wyoming Insights” looks at the various statistics that point to the health of the state’s economy.
In the area of employment, the report said the state had 274,600 jobs in November, a decline of 14,400 from November 2019.
Most of the decline, about 6,000 jobs, was traced to the mining industry. In addition to losses in the state’s coal industry in the past year, Wyoming’s oil and gas industry was hit by a global price war that forced prices so low that at one point, the state contained no working oil rigs.
Also posting declines were state and local government jobs, which fell by 2,600 in the 1-year period, the report said.
Professional and business services lost 1,900 jobs and the leisure and hospitality workforce was reduced by 1,800.However, employment in the state’s retail industry grew by 5.6%, 1,600 jobs, during the year, the report said.
The declines in the state’s mining industry made themselves felt in the form of lower tax revenues, the report said. Sales and use taxes paid by the mining industry in December dropped by $6.7 million, about 67%, from 2019 figures, the report said.
Sales and use tax payments increased in December over 2019 figures for three segments of the economy, the wholesale trade industry ($253,000), public administration ($73,800) and professional and business services ($27,800).
The drop in sales and use tax income was felt in most Wyoming counties, with Campbell County seeing the biggest decline at almost $4.1 million. Carbon County’s share of sales and use taxes dropped by $2.8 million in December from December 2019, a decline of 58.9%.
Teton County saw an increase from 2019 in its December tax collections of $787,000 and Albany County’s tax collections increased by $42,500.