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Number of workers in county remains near all-time high

Oct 12, 2012 - From staff reports

Fremont County employment

Unemployment rate

August --6.6 percent

July --7.0 percent

August 2011 --6.7 percent

Work force

August --19,843

July --19,790

August 2011 --19,862

Total employed

August --18,538

July --18,402

August 2011 --18,530

Total unemployed

August --1,305

July --1,388

August 2011 --1,332

There is good news in the newest unemployment report for Fremont County. The work force remains near an all-time high, more people are at work, fewer people are out of work, and the unemployment rate is down from both a month and a year earlier.

If there is bad news it is that the county has the highest jobless rate in Wyoming.

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, reporting its August data, calculated a civilian unemployment rate of 6.6 percent. That's a big improvement from July, when the county's rate was 7.0 percent. And it's down a notch from the 6.7 percent from August 2010.

August's figures are the latest available from the state.

Wyoming is just one of three counties with an unemployment rate of 6 percent or higher. Big horn County's (Lovell) rate was 6.1 percent, and Lincoln County (Kemmerer) came in at 6.4 percent. Fremont County has a larger labor force than those two counties combined.

The pool of civilian workers in the county remained near its all-time high in August, numbering 19,843. That's 53 more workers than were connoted in July, and down slightly from 19,862 a year earlier.

Total employment, meanwhile, posted a solid improvement, up 136 for the month to 18,536. In August 2011, the total employment count was 18,530.

The number of unemployed also shrank noticeably in August. In July, 1,388 people were claiming unemployment compensation from a county job service center, but that figure dropped by 83 in August to stand at 1,305. August 2011 showed 1,332 unemployed.

Fremont County's 19,843 workers constituted the fifth-largest work force among the state's 23 counties, about 1,000 larger than sixth-place Albany County (Laramie) but still nearly 6,000 short of fourth-place Sweetwater County (Rock Springs/Green River).

Laramie County (Cheyenne) and Natrona County (Casper) have Wyoming's two largest labor pools, both at more than 43,000. Laramie County's jobless rate in August was 5.9 percent, Natrona's 4.9 percent.

Wyoming's lowest unemployment rate for the month was 3.5 percent in Sublette County (Pinedale), with Teton County next at 4.1 as summer tourism employment peaked.

Statewide, the unemployment rate inched upward from 5.6 percent to 5.7 percent, a difference not considered significant in a statistical sense. The Wyoming rate a year earlier was an even 6 percent.

Wyoming has an overall work force of 298,400 -- 5,500 more than a year ago.

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