The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increased slightly from 5.3% in March to 5.4% in April. However, Wyoming’s unemployment rate was much lower than the current U.S. rate of 6.1%. Wyoming’s labor force, the sum of employed and unemployed individuals, increased by 5,141 people, or 1.8% from a year earlier.
From March to April, unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and fell in most counties around the state. Unemployment rates often decrease in April as seasonal job gains occur in construction, retail trade, and professional & business services. The largest unemployment rate decreases were seen in Park (down from 5.9% to 5.1%), Big Horn (down from 6.1% to 5.3%), and Johnson (down from 5.9% to 5.2%) counties. Teton County was the exception. Its unemployment rate rose from 4.2% in March to 7.0% in April as the ski season ended.
From April 2020 to April 2021, jobless rates rose in 16 counties and fell in seven counties. The largest increases occurred in Converse (up from 4.1% to 6.1%), Niobrara (up from 2.6% to 4.1%), Big Horn (up from 3.9% to 5.3%), and Uinta (up from 5.5% to 6.3%) counties. Unemployment rates fell in Teton (down from 12.5% to 7.0%), Park (down from 5.9% to 5.1%), Laramie (down from 5.4% to 4.6%), and Johnson (down from 5.9% to 5.2%) counties.
Natrona County had the highest unemployment rate in April at 7.4%. It was followed by Sublette County at 7.1%, Teton County at 7.0%, and Sweetwater County at 6.8%. The lowest unemployment rates were found in Weston County at 3.9% and Crook and Albany counties, each at 4.0%.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) rose from 257,100 in April 2020 to 267,900 in April 2021, an increase of 10,800 jobs (4.2%). Nonfarm employment was unusually low in April 2020 because of widespread economic disruptions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Research & Planning has scheduled the May unemployment news release for June 21, 2021.