According to a recent analysis by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, mining occupied approximately 35 percent of Wyoming’s GDP in 2013, up from around 29 percent in 2003. That makes Wyoming the most mining-dependent state in the country.
The increase comes despite calls from the Wyoming Business Council to diversify the state’s industries.
Wyoming Principal Economist Jim Robinson said that after concentrating on energy for so long, growth in areas outside energy is slow.
“For a long time there we really had a central focus on energy. That was a big part of the state, that as we try to diversify it’s going to take some time to see those differences. It’s just baby steps, really,” Robinson said.
Robinson went on to say that though 9 percent of Wyoming jobs are in mining, their impact casts a much longer shadow.
“Mining is kind of a small number but it’s a very very mighty number. It’s just there’s a lot of things associated with mining that generates a lot of activity around the state,” he said.
The percentage of Wyoming’s economy dedicated to mining is nearly 16 times that of the U.S. as a whole. Mining accounts for just 2 percent of the U.S. economy