Improvement in jobs picture

Jun 17, 2012 Staff

There was good news across the chart in April for Fremont County's employment picture, with more people working, a larger work force, and fewer people out of work.

For April, which is the most recent month tabulated by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Fremont County's unemployment rate plunged more than half a percentage point to stand at 6.6 percent.

That's down from 7.2 percent in March and significantly lower than the 6.9 percent recorded in April 2011.

Even with the improvement, the 6.6 percent was the third-highest among Wyoming's 23 counties. Only Teton County's (Jackson) 11.2 percent and the 8.5 percent in Lincoln County (Kemmerer) were higher. Teton's rate in April often is high as summer tourism workers begin arriving but have not yet been hired.

The lowest jobless rates statewide were in Sublette County (Pinedale) at 3.4 percent, and the 4.1 percentage listed for both Albany County (Laramie) and Campbell County (Gillette).

With the exception of Teton County's peculiar increase tied to the influx of seasonal workers, every Wyoming county saw its unemployment rate improve in April, the state report shows.

The civilian labor pool in Fremont County increased by 26 from March to April and numbered 19,772. The rate over the years was virtually identical to the 19,774 posted in April 2011.

The county was in its usual spot as the sixth-largest in Wyoming, trailing Laramie County (Chey-enne), Natrona County (Casper), Campbell County, Sweetwater County (Rock Springs) and Alb-any County. No. 5 Albany County had about 1,000 more in its workforce than Fremont County, while No. 7 Sheridan County (Sheridan) had about 1,500 fewer.

Both Laramie and Natrona counties have workforces exceeding 40,000.

Total employment improved nicely across Fremont County for the month, up 143 from March to 18,476 workers on the job and an improvement 73 from a year earlier.

Equally encouraging in April's report was the smaller number of jobless workers in Fremont County. Total unemployment for the month was tabulated at 1,296, 117 fewer than March and down 73 from a year earlier as well.

Statewide, the Wyoming economy added 1,400 jobs since April 2011 and had a corresponding decrease in unemployment of more than 1,500. The state'sjobless rate in April shrank to 5.6 percent from the 5.9 percent noted in March and is a half point lower than April 2011's 6.1 percent.

Both Fremont County's and Wyoming's jobless rates outperform the national economy, whose figure has hovered around 8 percent for months.

The sate report is based on the number of adults either receiving or eligible to receives unemployment compensation from through the states workforce development centers in each county.

The numbers do not reflect those whose benefits have expired or who are not seeking work actively.

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