Dec 9, 2012 - From staff reportsFremont County's employment picture showed improvement in October, and the unemployment rate now stands at its lowest rate in four years -- 5.5 percent.
That's down from 5.6 percent in September and a significant drop from the 6.3 percent rate in October 2011.
October is the most-recent month with full data calculations from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.
The county's jobless rate topped 8 percent early in 2010, when the national recession's effects were being felt most deeply in Wyoming.
Every major employment category showed improvement for October, with more people in the work force, more jobs and fewer unemployed people.
The civilian labor force grew to 19,840, up 74 from September and 103 more than the 19,737 counted a year earlier.
Fremont County has the sixth-largest civilian work force among Wyoming's 23 counties, 1,275 fewer than fifth-place Albany County (Laramie) and more than 3,900 more than seventh-place Sheridan County (Sheridan).
Laramie County (Cheyenne) and Natrona County (Casper) have by far the biggest work forces in the state, at 45,067 and 43,497.
The smallest work forces are in Niobrara County (Lusk) at 1,348 and Hot Springs County (Thermopolis) at 2,531.
Total employment increased countywide in October. The workforce services department counted 18,756 employed for the month, 97 more than the previous month and 258 more jobs than October 2011.
Similarly, fewer adults were considered unemployed in October. There were 1,084 jobless for the month compared to 1,107 in September. October's jobless total was 1,239.
At 5.5 percent, Fremont County's unemployment rate was the third-highest in Wyoming, trailing Teton County's (Jackson) 6.1 percent and Lincoln County's (Kemmerer) 5.6 percent. As usual, the lowest jobless rate was in Sublette County (Pinedale) at 2.9 percent.
Statewide, the unemployment rate was 5.2 percent, down .2 percent from September and 5.8 percent a year earlier, with 2,273 more jobs.
Wyoming has a work force of about 305,000 and total employment of nearly 292,000.
The state department notes that unemployment figures are based on the number of people either receiving or eligible to receive unemployment compensation through the 23 county job service centers.
The numbers do not account for part-time workers, nor do they consider those whose jobless benefits have expired and who are not seeking work.
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