The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from its revised level of 9.6% in April to 8.8% in May. It appears that the state’s economy improved modestly in May as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were loosened and some businesses reopened. At 8.8%, Wyoming’s unemployment rate was significantly lower than the U.S. rate of 13.3%.
Most county unemployment rates fell from April to May, perhaps suggesting small scale improvement in labor markets around the state. The largest unemployment rate decreases occurred in Teton (down from 18.2% to 15.0%), Sublette (down from 11.4% to 9.8%), and Johnson (down from 9.7% to 8.1%) counties. Unemployment rates rose slightly in Converse County (up from 6.4% to 7.3%) and Carbon County (up from 6.8% to 7.0%).
Unemployment rates were higher than a year earlier in all 23 counties. The largest increases were seen in Teton County (up from 2.9% to 15.0%), Natrona County (up from 3.7% to 11.7%), Campbell County (up from 3.2% to 9.7%), and Sweetwater County (up from 3.5% to 9.7%).
Niobrara County had the lowest unemployment rate in May at 4.5%. It was followed by Albany County at 4.9% and Weston County at 5.0%. The highest unemployment rates were found in Teton County at 15.0%, Natrona County at 11.7%, and Sublette County at 9.8%.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) decreased from 292,300 in May 2019 to 265,500 in May 2020, a decline of 26,800 jobs (-9.2%).