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Wyoming’s Unemployment Rate Drops As More People Return To Work

in News/wyoming economy
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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s unemployment rate declined by almost one-half percentage point in November from October and for the first time in several months, the decline was not largely due to people leaving the workforce.

State Department of Workforce Services figures showed that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate — the rate that takes seasonal influences such as holiday hiring into account — fell from 4.1% in October to 3.7% in November.

Over the past several months, regular declines in the unemployment rate have been largely attributed by the department’s Research and Planning Section to people leaving the workforce, but David Bullard, a senior economist for the section, said November’s drop was also caused by people taking jobs.

“It’s a mixed picture,” he said. “If we’re just talking about October to November, about half of the decrease was due to people going back to work, the other half was due to people leaving the labor force.”

Bullard said state economists are not sure what is happening to people who are leaving the workforce, but some might be living off of money saved from various federal coronavirus relief programs.

Although extra unemployment benefits tied to the pandemic have ended, another program offering payments for families that qualify for child tax credits launched in July, Bullard said.

“If you have multiple children, that could conceivably equal a part-time job,” he said.

Wyoming’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell only slightly, 0.1%, October to November, but dropped by 50% from November of 2020, falling from 4.8% to 2.4%.

“Employment was unusually low in November 2020 because of economic disruptions related to the pandemic,” the section’s monthly release on unemployment numbers said.

Every county in the state saw a decline in unadjusted unemployment rates between November 2020 and November of this year, the report said, while the rate fell in 16 counties between October and November.

The state’s lowest unemployment rate of 1.7% was found in Albany and Weston counties, while the highest rate of 3.1% was seen in Natrona County.

The state’s adjusted unemployment rate of 3.7% was lower than the national average rate of 4.2%.

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Wyoming Unemployment Rate Down Sharply in July

in Unemployment/News
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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%.

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Wyoming Sees Slight Unemployment Rate Increase For February

in Unemployment/News
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

For the first time in nearly a year, Wyoming has seen an uptick in its unemployment rates.

The state went from 5.1% unemployment in January to 5.3% in February, according to a report from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services. Despite this increase, Wyoming’s unemployment rate remains much lower than the U.S. unemployment rate of 6.2%.

The state’s unemployment rate fell for nine straight months, after the state saw a high of 8.5% unemployment.

From January to February, unemployment rates increased in 15 counties, remained unchanged in three counties, and decreased in five counties.

The largest increases occurred in Johnson County (up from 6% to 6.7%) and Weston County (up from 3.9% to 4.6%).

Jobless rates fell slightly in Washakie (down from 5.6% to 5.4%), Sweetwater (down from 7.8% to 7.6%) and Niobrara (down from 5.3% to 5.1%) counties.

The highest unemployment rates in February were found in Natrona County at 8.9%, Sublette County at 8.8%, and Sweetwater County at 7.6%.

The lowest rates were reported in Teton County at 4.4% and Albany and Crook counties, both at 4.5%.

Unemployment rates increased from year-ago levels in 22 of Wyoming’s 23 counties. The largest increases occurred in Converse (up from 3.7% to 7.4%), Natrona (up from 5.2% to 8.9%), Campbell (up from 4.4% to 7.5%), and Uinta (up from 5.0% to 7.1%) counties.

Washakie County’s unemployment rate fell slightly, decreasing from 5.7% to 5.4%.

Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) decreased from 281,800 in February 2020 to 266,400 in February 2021, a decline of 15,400 jobs (-5.5%).

Wyoming’s Unemployment Falls For Ninth Month, Hits 5.1% In January

in Unemployment/News
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1% in January, the ninth month in a row after hitting peaking last spring.

The state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell by one-tenth of a percentage point, from 5.2% in December to 5.1% in January.

Wyoming recently completed a comprehensive annual revision of its unemployment data, which showed that the state’s unemployment rate peaked at 8.5% in May 2020 and has steadily declined since then.

Wyoming’s January unemployment rate of 5.1% was much lower than the U.S. rate of 6.3%.

Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased from December to January. Unemployment rates often rise in January as seasonal job losses are seen in many sectors, including construction, retail trade, transportation & warehousing, leisure and hospitality and government.

The largest jobless rate increases were seen in Sublette (up to 8.3% from 6.7%), Big Horn (up to 6.2% from 4.7%), Niobrara (up to 5.2% from 3.9%), and Hot Springs (up to 5.6% from 4.4%) counties.

From January 2020 to January 2021, unemployment rates rose in nearly every county. The largest increases were seen in areas of the state dominated by the energy sector.

Converse County’s unemployment rate rose from 3.5% to 6.7%, Natrona County’s rate rose from 5.2% to 8.2%, Campbell County’s rate rose from 4.4% to 7% and Sweetwater County’s rate rose from 6.2% to 7.7%.

In contrast to those increases, Big Horn County’s unemployment rate was unchanged from a year earlier, staying at 6.2%.

The lowest unemployment rates in Wyoming were found in Weston County at 3.8%, Crook County at 4.0%, and Teton County at 4.2%. Sublette County reported the highest unemployment rate at 8.3%.

It was followed by Natrona County at 8.2%, Sweetwater County at 7.7%, Campbell County at 7% and Converse County at 6.7%.

Total non-farm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) decreased from 282,400 in January 2020 to 265,900 in January, a decline of 16,500 jobs (-5.8%).

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Wyoming Unemployment Falls Eighth Month In a Row to 4.8% In December

in Unemployment/News
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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%).

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Wyoming’s Unemployment Rate Falls For Sixth Straight Month

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s unemployment rate fell for the sixth consecutive month in October, according to the state Department of Workforce Services.

The department’s Research and Planning Section, in its monthly unemployment report, () said Wyoming’s unemployment rate in October fell to 5.5%, a decline of 0.6 percentage points from September.

While the rate is lower than the national unemployment rate of 6.9%, it is also higher than the state unemployment rate seen in October of 2019, 3.7%.

The unemployment rate of 5.5% means about 14,930 Wyoming residents are unemployed of the state’s labor force of 295,987.

The department’s report said the unemployment rate fell in most of Wyoming’s counties in October from September, with the largest decline seen in Natrona County, where the rate dropped from 8.9% to 7.8%, and Sweetwater County, where the rate dropped from 6.9% to 6%.

Despite the decline, Natrona County had the highest unemployment rate in the state, followed by Campbell County at 6.4%.

However, the report also said the unemployment rate in every county but one, Goshen, increased over rates seen in October of 2019. Natrona County saw the largest annual increase, with its jobless rate rising from 3.8% in October 2019 to 7.8% this year. Campbell County’s unemployment rate increased from 3.5% in 2019 to 6.4% in October.

“The largest increases occurred in areas of the state that are highly dependent on the energy sector,” the report said.

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Wyoming’s Unemployment Drops Again, Down To 6.1% In September

in Unemployment/News
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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.

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Wyoming Lost 25K Jobs During Second Quarter Of 2020

in News/Economy
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming lost more than 25,000 jobs in the second quarter of fiscal 2020, a recent analysis confirmed.

The Wyoming Department of Administration and Information released its economic summary of the second quarter on Monday, which ran from February through April. The summary noted that compared to the same period in 2019, Wyoming’s employment fell by 8.9%, or 25,890 jobs, during the peak of the economic shutdown caused by the pandemic during the second quarter of the year.

Nationally, employment declined by 11.3% during the same period..

Wyoming’s unemployment rate of 8.9% during the period was the highest seen in the state since the first quarter of 1987. The leisure and hospitality industry (mainly restaurant and lodging) saw the biggest hit, with 10,700 jobs lost during the quarter.

The state’s mining industry also saw major losses, with about one-fifth of the industry’s employees being laid off due to “plunging” oil and natural gas prices that were affected by low energy demand caused by restrictions on businesses and travel.

Manufacturing was the only industry in Wyoming that wasn’t affected by the pandemic, and employment increased slightly compared to 2019, the report said.

However, Wyoming’s total personal income (income received by all residents from all sources) grew by 7.7% this year, the largest increase seen since the first quarter of 2018. The U.S. also saw a personal income grow by 10.4%.

The report also noted that visitation was down at both national parks during the second quarter, but this was due to the complete closure of both park because of the pandemic.

Lodging sales for the state were down by 49.6% compared to one year ago, which again was caused by the park closures, as well as a decline in mineral activities in the state.

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Wyoming Continues To Have Strong Unemployment Recovery Rates

in Unemployment/News
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming continues to have strong unemployment recovery rates, according to a recent national ranking.

The state placed ninth nationally for improvements in its unemployment rate seen since the coronavirus pandemic began in mid-March, according to personal finance website WalletHub.

This is one spot higher than the state’s ranking last week. Missouri took the top recovery spot this week, after being ranked 20th last week.

Louisiana had the worst unemployment recovery rates in the country for the last week, dropping from 46th place.

WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three metrics based on changes in unemployment claims.

Wyoming’s unemployment claims from the week of Sept. 17 compared to the same week in 2019 are up by 150.18%, while claims have only increased by 6.95% since the beginning of 2020, the study said.

Red states’ unemployment rates are recovering faster this week, WalletHub found.

This news comes the same week the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services announced that the state’s unemployment rate was at 6.6% in August, down from 7.1% in July.

The state’s jobless rate has decreased in each of the past four months and is currently lower than the United States average rate of 8.4%.

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Wyoming Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.6% In August

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s unemployment rate dropped again in August from the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March, the Department of Workforce Services announced this week.

The state’s unemployment rate was at 6.6% in August, down from 7.1% in July. The jobless rate has decreased in each of the past four months and is currently lower than the United States average rate of 8.4%.

Unemployment rates decreased in August in almost all Wyoming counties.

The largest decreases occurred in Washakie County (from 6.3% to 5.2%), Teton County (from 5.7% to 4.6%), Sweetwater County (down from 8.8% to 7.8%) and Sheridan County (down from 5.2% to 4.2%).

Lincoln County saw a slight rise in its rates, going from 5.4% to 5.7% in August. The smallest increases occurred in Albany County (from 3.1% to 3.3%) and Goshen County (from 3.6% to 4.3%).

Compared to August 2019, unemployment rates were up in every county, but the largest increases compared to one year ago were in Natrona County (from 3.7% to 9.4%), Sweetwater County (from 3.4% to 7.8%), Converse County (from 2.4% to 6.4%) and Campbell County (from 4.3% to 8.2%).

Natrona County had the highest unemployment rate in the state in August at 9.4%.

Other high unemployment rates in Wyoming were in Campbell County (8.2%), Sweetwater County (7.8%) and Uinta County (7.3%).

The lowest unemployment rates in Wyoming were seen in Albany County (3.3%) and Weston, Niobrara and Crook counties, all at 3.9%.

Total non-farm employment in Wyoming decreased from 297,000 in August 2019 to 277,200 this year, a decline of 20,700 or 6.9%.

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Wyoming Has Some Of The Fastest Recovering Unemployment Claims In Country

in Unemployment/News/Coronavirus
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming has been ranked in the top 10 states when it comes to the fastest recovering unemployment rates, a recent study declared.

Wyoming placed tenth for improvements in its unemployment rate seen since the coronavirus pandemic began in mid-March, according to personal finance website WalletHub.

Unemployment claims from the week of Sept. 10 compared to the same week last year are up by 150%, with 610 claims submitted last week vs. 244 the same week last year.

However, unemployment rates are down by 7.85% compared to the start of 2020, with 662 claims coming in the week of Jan. 1 compared to last week’s 610.

Unemployment rates are up 823.47% during the period from the beginning of the pandemic to last week when compared to the same period last year.

There were 63,827 unemployment claims in Wyoming between the week of March 16 and Sept. 9 compared to 7,751 between the week of March 18, 2019 and Sept. 9, 2019.

Oregon had the best recoveries when it came to unemployment claims over the last week and since the beginning of the pandemic. Kansas had the worst unemployment recoveries over the past week, but Georgia had the worst recoveries since the beginning of the pandemic.

WalletHub found that blue states’ unemployment claims are recovering faster than red states’ claims.

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Wyoming Unemployment Falls To 7.1% In July

in Unemployment/News/Coronavirus
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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s unemployment rate fell one-half percentage point from June to July, marking the continuation of a steady decrease since its peak at 9.6% in April.

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services announced Tuesday that the state’s economy is gradually recovering from the large disruptions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The unemployment rate fell from 7.6% in June to 7.1% in July. Unemployment rates fell in all 23 counties over that one-month period.

The largest unemployment rate decreases occurred in Teton County (from 9.4% to 5.7%), Lincoln County (from 6.7% to 5.4%), Carbon County (from 5.8% to 4.7%), Sublette County (from 8.4% to 7.5%) and Laramie County (from 6.7% to 5.8%).

Compared to last year, however, unemployment rates were higher in every county.

The largest increases in unemployment over the last year were seen in Natrona County (up from 3.7% to 10.2%), Sweetwater County (up from 3.9% to 8.8%), Converse County (up from 2.6% to 7%) and Uinta County (up from 3.9% to 8%).

The smallest unemployment increases over the last year were seen in Albany County (up from 3.6% to 3.9%), Goshen County (up from 3.7% to 4.7%) and Crook County (up from 3.4% to 4.4%).

Albany County’s rate of 3.9% was the lowest unemployment rate in Wyoming, followed by Niobrara County at 4.3%, Crook County at 4.4% and Weston County at 4.6%.

The highest unemployment rates in the state were found in Natrona County at 10.2%, Campbell and Sweetwater counties, both at 8.8% and Uinta County at 8%.

Total non-farm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) decreased from 297,200 in July 2019 to 276,700 in July 2020, a decline of 20,500 jobs (6.9%).

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Wyoming Unemployment Dips Slightly In Show Of Modest Economic Improvement

in News/Economy
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Wyoming’s unemployment rate fell slightly in May from April, indicating a modest improvement in the state’s economy, according to the state Department of Workforce Services.

The agency’s Research and Planning Section said Wyoming had a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 8.8% in May, compared to a rate of 9.6% in April.

“It appears that the state’s economy improved modestly in May as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were loosened and some businesses reopened,” the DWS said in a news release.

The state’s unemployment rate was far below the national average of 13.3% and was among the lowest in the nation. Nebraska, at 5.2%, and Utah, at 8.5%, had lower rates.

However, the unemployment rate was the highest seen since March of 1987, when the rate reached 8.9%

The numbers mean that more than 25,900 people were without work in the state in May, an increase of more than 15,500 from May of 2019.

The DWS said unemployment rates fell in most counties in April, with the largest drop occurring in Teton County, where the rate fell from 18.2% to 14%, Sublette, from 22.4% to 9.8%, and Johnson County, from 9.7% to 8.1%.

The rate went up slightly in Converse County, from 6.4% to 7.3%, and Carbon County, from 6.8% to 7%.

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Some retailers look for options to seasonal help

in News
Extra workers
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By Mary Angell, Cowboy State Daily

As holidays draw near, employers at retail stores, restaurants and hotels in Wyoming may find the state’s current unemployment rate of 3.8 percent makes it very difficult for them to hire extra workers for the holiday season. 

That’s why some simply don’t.

“We try to be prepared without having to hire seasonal help,” said Louis Taubert, co-owner of Lou Taubert Ranch Outfitters in Casper. “It used to be more (common), but now we look for fewer and better employees so I don’t have to deal with seasonal help.”

 Having enough employees for the holiday season doesn’t concern Taubert, because according to him, the 55,000 square-foot western store is busiest in June, during the College National Finals Rodeo.  

He added that he has a good staff, and if he needs more help over the holidays, he calls on several people who have previously worked at the store.  Some are retired, while others have full-time jobs elsewhere but are willing to work for Taubert on the weekends.

“These people already have training, and they work into the system pretty well,” he said. “That’s probably really good, considering the market now. It’s really tough to get the right candidates for a full- or part-time position.” 

The Bomgarrs store in Gillette also gets through the holidays with its regular staff.  

“The way our budget works, we kind of maneuver around (hiring seasonal help),” said general manager Steve Stalcup. 

“There’s very little range between seasons,” he added.  “We just shift our focus on what we’re doing in the store. The first part of November, we’re focused 90 percent on getting stuff done. From the day after Thanksgiving, the focus is on selling.  It’s a different paradigm as far as how you manage a season. There are hiccups, but generally it works out really well.”

Hiring seasonal workers used to be the practice, said Stalcup, who has 20 years’ experience as a store manager.  

But he occasionally found himself in the unfortunate predicament of hiring a very capable seasonal worker who the company couldn’t afford to keep at the end of the season.  Now he just makes sure his employees are cross-trained and know how to handle the extra work presented by the holiday season.

“It makes sense to keep the staff flexible,” he said.  “When you don’t hire seasonal help, you have to think more strategically, help your staff be flexible.”   

Similarly, although the Little America Hotel of Cheyenne has several staff vacancies — part-time and full-time — it is not going to hire any seasonal help, according to Shane Bustillo, human resources manager. 

The UPS Store in Cheyenne always hires extra staff members for the holiday season, but only one or two. And sometimes getting more people to help out means just calling former employees. 

“We always have backup people who have helped us for the last couple of years,” said A.K. Shrestha, area manager for UPS.

Wyoming’s low unemployment rate is not a concern for Shrestha, who recently hired a new manager, assistant manager and a couple of workers for the store. 

“It’s not hard to find people,” he said.  “We even have walk-ins who need a job.   We just changed our group, rebuilt our team in two days.”

Competitive pay, flexibility keys to hiring seasonal workers, say officials

in Economic development/News
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By Mary Angell, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming’s unemployment rate is a good indicator of a healthy economy: people  are working and therefore able to buy homes, cars  — and Christmas and Hanukkah gifts. 

But according to state officials, the current unemployment rate of 3.8 percent means that employers looking to hire extra help during the holiday season may have a tough time of it. The low unemployment rate is a curse to employers, Denise Rodriguez, business representative in the Department of Workforce Services, told Cowboy State Daily.

“It’s a job-seeker’s market instead of an employer’s market right now,” she said,“(It) makes hiring overall very difficult for employers to find individuals seeking employment.”

According to Chris Brown, the executive director of the Wyoming Lodging and Restaurant Association and the Wyoming Retail Association, finding seasonal help is incredibly difficult for businesses. 

“If you were to go round on the horn and ask (members of the WLRA and WRA) what the biggest challenge is for them, nine out of ten — without a doubt — would say finding an adequate work force,” he said. 

And it’s not just a seasonal problem, he said. 

“The problem is that in Wyoming there are not enough employees available,” he said.  “It’s the least populated state in the country, so it has the least populated workforce in the country.”

Brown and DWS representatives have some advice for employers hoping to score some good workers to help with the holiday rush.

Offer competitive pay

“The more competitive pay the better,” suggested Jeff Schulz, a manager for the DWS Workforce Service Centers. “If a company is paying $12 an hour, for example, if you can pay $13 an hour, you can get them (to leave their current employer).”

According to Rodriguez, employers regularly resort to poaching staff from other employers.

“I had a 21-year-old tell me yesterday, ‘I’m thinking about looking for another job that pays more,’” Rodriguez said. “I said, ‘Don’t you think about burning bridges?’  He said, ‘I think I’ll look at getting more money.’

“(Job-seekers) can go back and forth,” she continued. “If they leave an employer and things don’t work out at the other job, they can go back and they’ll take them back.  Chances are the position still needs to be filled.”

Provide flexible hours

A lot of people looking for seasonal work already have full-time jobs, and they’re looking for a job where they can work evenings and weekends, said Ty Stockton, DWS communications manager.

Others are students who want to make some extra money over the holidays, Brown said. 

“In both the retail and hospitality industries, flexible schedules, being able to work with students and their school schedules, give them part-time hours — employers tout those things to supplement their work force,” he said.  “They need to offer (applicants) a great place to work, have fun and make money.”

Be innovative 

DWS Business Representative Terri Wells suggested that in addition to competitive salaries and flexible hours, employers be creative in their approach to attracting workers. 

“Think outside of the box,” she said. “What can you offer as an add-on?” 

“A lot of companies offer retention bonuses, so if you stay six months or so they give you a bonus,” Shulz said. “There are a variety of ways you can approach it, but the key is to make the employee as happy as they can be.”

Try a “surgical approach”

Shulz likened participating in a job fair to select the right candidate for the job to conducting precise surgery. 

“We do a mini-job fair every month,” he said.

The DWS job fairs are geared specifically for particular industries.  Employers who take part have an opportunity to grab the job-seekers most attracted and best suited for that industry. 

Check out the DWS website 

Workforce Services’ website, wyomingatwork.com, is designed to help not only job-seekers, but employers as well. They can search the system for resumes that match the kind of applicant they’re looking for and send a message to the job seeker. 

Consult a local Workforce Services Center

Employers who need more help finding seasonal workers can call or visit their local DWS center.  There are 22 centers throughout the state.

“If any employers are having difficulty filling or retaining positions and are looking for ideas, they can contact one of the local DWS centers,” Rodriguez said. 

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