By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s unemployment rate fell for the eighth straight month in December, dropping from 5.1% in November to 4.8%.
Most county unemployment rates changed very little from November to December. However, large declines were seen in a few counties.
Teton County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.8% to 3.9% as the winter tourist season ramped up. Jobless rates also fell in Natrona County (down from 7.1% to 6.5%), Converse County (down from 5.1% to 4.5%) and Campbell County (down from 5.8% to 5.2%).
From December 2019 to December 2020, unemployment rates rose in 19 counties, were unchanged in three counties and fell slightly in Hot Springs County (down from 4.0% to 3.9%).
The largest increases occurred in key energy producing areas of the state.
Natrona County’s unemployment rate rose from 4.2% to 6.5% during the year, Campbell County’s rate rose from 3.1% to 5.2%, Converse County’s rate rose from 3.0% to 4.5%, and Sweetwater County’s rate increased from 4.5% to 5.8%.
Jobless rates were unchanged from a year earlier in Fremont County (4.8%), Niobrara County (3.4%), and Platte County (4.1%).
Natrona County had the highest unemployment rate in the state in December at 6.5%. It was followed by Sweetwater County at 5.8% and Sublette County at 5.7%.
The lowest rates were found in Albany and Weston counties, both at 3.0%, and Crook County at 3.1%.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) decreased from 285,800 in December 2019 to 273,500 in December 2020, a decline of 12,300 jobs (-4.3%).