Nationwide, including Wyoming, states are working to build huge databases that can track students from preschool all the way into the workforce. In the brave new world of big data, the thought is—more information means smarter education policy decisions and improved learning. But some parents worry that these systems will go too far.
At Laramie County Community College, a classroom full of people is talking about control groups and independent variables. It’s not as exciting as it sounds, but it is important.
Wyoming’s unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest point since January 2009 when the economic downturn began to affect the state. It’s now at 4.4 percent. This time last year, it was 5 percent. The national unemployment rate is 7 percent.
Senior Economist at the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, David Bullard, says that although this month’s progress is good news, job growth could still be improved. “The job growth has been very slow, well under one percent,” he says. “That presents a challenge to the state’s economy.”
Thirty-one workers died on the job in Wyoming in 2012, up from 29 the year before. That’s according to a report by Wyoming’s occupational epidemiologist. Wyoming has one of the worst workplace death rates in the nation. The report attributes that to the fact that a large proportion of Wyoming’s workforce is employed in high risk occupations like oil and gas, ranching, and construction jobs.