By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s unemployment rate dropped sharply in July as more people took seasonal jobs in the state’s leisure and hospitality and construction industries, according to a state report.
The Research and Planning Division of Wyoming’s Department of Workforce Services, in its monthly unemployment report, said the state’s unemployment rate fell to 4.4% in July from 5.6% the previous month.
“Unemployment often decreases in July as employment grows in leisure and hospitality, construction and other sectors,” the report said.
Every county in the state saw a decline in unemployment rates from June to July, the report said, with the largest drop recorded in Sublette County, where the rate fell from 6.9% to 5.2%, and Uinta County, where the July rate of 4.9% was a decline of more than one percentage point from June’s 6.5%.
Teton County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in July at 2.8%, while Weston County followed at 3.1%.The state’s unemployment rate in July was sharply lower than it was in July 2020, when it stood at 6.8%. Again, the division reported that every county in Wyoming saw a decline in unemployment rates from one year ago, with the steepest decline reported in Natrona County, from 9.9% in 2020 to 5.8% in July.
“Unemployment rates were unusually high in July 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report said.
When expected seasonal changes in unemployment — such as increased hiring in the hospitality industry — are taken into account, Wyoming’s unemployment rate was set at 5.2% for July, a slight decline from June’s 5.4%, the department said.
“The slight decrease in unemployment was largely due to unemployed individuals dropping out of the labor force,” the release said.
Wyoming’s unadjusted July unemployment rate was significantly lower than the national average of 5.7%, as was its seasonally adjusted rate, where the national average was 5.4%.