By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s unemployment has continued to fall after the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, dropping by one-half percentage point to 6.1% in September.
The state’s unemployment rates were 6.6% in August and 7.1% in July, respectively. The unemployment rate peaked at 9.6% in April and has steadily fallen since then.
The Department of Workforce Services announced these updates rates in a report on Tuesday, adding that unemployment rate in the state was significantly lower than the national average of 7.9%.
“It appears that the state’s economy is recovering and individuals are going back to work,” the report said.
Over the last month, unemployment rates fell in every county, but the largest decreases were seen in Lincoln (down to 4.2% from 5.7%), Campbell (down to 7.2% from 8.2%) and Uinta (down to 6.4% from 7.3%) counties.
Compared to September 2019, unemployment rates were still higher in every county.
The largest increases compared to one year ago were Natrona (up to 8.7% from 3.7%), Sweetwater (up to 7% from 3.4%), Campbell (up to 7.2% from 3.8%), Comverse (up to 5.7% from 2.6%) and Uinta (up to 6.4% from 3.7%) counties.
Jobless rates increased slightly in Albany (up to 3.1% from 3%), Goshen (up to 4% from 3.4%) and Big Horn (up to 4.3% from 3.7%) counties.
Albany County reported the lowest unemployment rate in Wyoming at 3.1%, followed by Niobrara County at 3.4%, and Weston and Crook counties, both at 3.6%.
The highest unemployment rates were in Natrona County at 8.7%, Campbell County at 7.2% and Sweetwater County at 7%. Natrona County has had the highest unemployment rate in the state since the start of the pandemic.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) decreased from 295,500 in September 2019 to 278,900 in September 2020, a decline of 16,600 jobs (-5.6%).
Wyoming has consistently ranked among the states whose unemployment rates have recovered the fastest and strongest, according to personal finance website WalletHub.