Employment in Wyoming's coal mining sector has fallen 6 percent in the past year. The latest data from June 2013 shows there were 425 less jobs than in June 2012.
Coal production has slumped nationwide, and taken jobs along with it, but Wyoming is faring better than other coal producing regions. Nationwide the sector has lost significantly more jobs as mines closed or reduced their capacity.
Wyoming Department of Workforce Services senior economist David Bullard, says so far, there haven't been many layoffs in the state.
Mining job losses in Wyoming at the end of 2012 have contributed to the lowest job and payroll growth in the state in over two years, despite modest economic growth overall.
David Bullard is a senior economist with the Wyoming Department of Workforce services. He says that the slight increases in tourism-related fields, such as accommodation and food service, are not making up for heavy losses elsewhere.
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reports that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 5.4 percent in September to 5.2percent in October. This is lower still than the same time last year, and much lower than the current national average of 7.9 percent.
Senior Economist David Bullard says the decrease is not statistically significant, but it does speak to Wyoming’s overall economic health.
The state unemployment rate dropped to 5.4-percent in September, giving Wyoming the 6th lowest rate in the country.
Senior Economist David Bullard of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services says the state economy seems to be growing stably.
“There appears to be growth in construction, as well as mining, including oil and natural gas… growth in accommodation in food services, and local government, which includes public schools, colleges and hospitals. So there are a number of sectors that appear to be growing around the state.”