By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s hospitality and retail sectors were the high spots in the state’s economy in August and have been for the last two years, according to figures released by a state agency.
The latest report on the state’s economic indicators showed that not only did sales tax collections for those two sectors grow in August compared to August 2020, but they posted gains over pre-pandemic levels.
“Not only did these two sectors experience substantial increases relative to August 2020, they also experienced large increases when compared to August 2019, up 26% and 13.5% respectively,” said the report “Wyoming Insight,” prepared by the Economic Analysis Division of the state Department of Administration and Information.
The monthly report, which tracks figures that indicate the health of Wyoming’s economy, showed tax collections in the leisure and hospitality industry in August increased by $5.4 million over the same month in 2020, a 66% gain.
Retail trade tax collections, meanwhile, increased by almost $4.5 million over August 2020, a gain of 17.9%.Meanwhile, tax income for the education and health sector fell by $2.8 million from 2020, a decline of 54.2%.
Every county in the state except two saw an increase in total sales tax collections in August over 2020 figures, the report said, led by Teton County with an increase of almost $4.7 million from one year ago, 66.4%.
Carbon and Converse counties both saw declines in tax collections, 62% and 42.6%, respectively. The report noted that the lack of wind power construction projects in August skewed some of the annual tax collection comparisons.
The leisure and hospitality industry also accounted for the largest increase in jobs during the one-year period, with 4,900 new jobs created in August compared to 2020. Across all sectors, Wyoming added 8,300 jobs during the year for a total of 273,000.