By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming lost more than 16,000 jobs in 2020, according to state figures.
A report from the state Department of Workforce Services showed that between the fourth quarter of 2019 and 2020, the number of people employed in the state fell by 6%, from 276,508 to 259,937.
The figures are included in a preliminary employment report prepared by the DWS Research and Planning Division.
Employment in the last quarter of 2020 was an improvement over the second quarter of the year, when the number of people with jobs stood at 252,329.
By comparison, as of March, the DWS estimated state employment at 277,417.
The combined impact of coal mine closures and business closures related to the coronavirus pandemic was felt significantly in employment.
The report said most of the jobs lost, 5,900, were seen in the mining sector, while the leisure and hospitality industry lost 3,300 jobs over the one-year period. Construction jobs also fell by 2,750 from the last quarter of 2019.
However, the retail trade sector added 700 jobs from the final quarter of 2019.
The report also said that during the final quarter of the year, the state’s total payroll dropped by 1.7% from the fourth quarter of 2019 to total almost $3.6 billion. However, the payroll seen in the last quarter of the year was higher than what was seen in the second quarter, when the total fell to $3.1 billion.