June 26, 2023

Wyoming Unemployment Falls to 3.3% in May 2023

© Copyright 2023 by the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services, Research & Planning

The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 3.5% in April to 3.3% in May. Wyoming’s unemployment rate has decreased in each of the past four months and is slightly lower than the current U.S. unemployment rate of 3.7%. Seasonally adjusted employment of Wyoming residents increased by 1,351 individuals (0.5%) from April to May.

Unemployment rates fell from April to May in every area of the state. Unemployment usually decreases in May as seasonal job gains occur in many different sectors, including construction, leisure & hospitality, professional & business services, government, and retail trade. The largest decreases in unemployment were found in Teton (down from 3.9% to 2.8%), Park (down from 3.5% to 2.5%), and Sublette (down from 3.9% to 3.0%) counties.

May unemployment rates were lower than a year ago in almost every county. Niobrara County was the exception; its unemployment rate was unchanged from May 2022. The largest decreases occurred in Teton (down from 3.8% to 2.8%), Natrona (down from 3.9% to 2.9%), Washakie (down from 4.0% to 3.1%), and Converse (down from 3.1% to 2.2%) counties.

Sweetwater County posted the highest unemployment rate in May, at 3.2%. It was followed by Fremont County and Washakie County, both at 3.1%. The lowest unemployment rates were found in Weston County at 1.9%, Niobrara County at 2.1%, Crook County at 2.2%, and Converse County at 2.2%.

Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) rose from 284,300 in May 2022 to 290,200 in May 2023, an increase of 5,900 jobs (2.1%).

June unemployment data will be released on July 24, 2023.

EmployedAll persons who, during the reference week, did any work at all as paid employees, worked in their own business, profession, or on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers in a family business.
UnemployedAll persons who had no employment during the reference week, were available for work, and had made specific efforts to find employment sometime during the 4-week period ending with the reference week.
Labor ForceAll persons who meet the criteria given above as either employed or unemployed.
Unemployment RateThe number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.
Seasonal AdjustmentA statistical procedure to remove the impact of normal regularly recurring events (such as weather, major holidays, and the opening and closing of schools) from economic time series to better understand changes in economic conditions from month to month.

Note Regarding Tables 1-3 Below

Not seasonally adjusted data reflect the actual economic conditions in a given area for a given time period. These data show the normal seasonal changes that occur in the economy. Most county unemployment rates are higher in the winter months because of seasonal job losses in construction, leisure & hospitality, and many other sectors. Similarly, most county unemployment rates are lower in the summer months as employment increases across the economy. Data users should use caution when comparing not seasonally adjusted data for different months, as at least part of the difference between months may reflect normal seasonal patterns.

In contrast, seasonally adjusted data have been subjected to a statistical procedure to remove the effects of normal changes that occur in the economy each year, such as seasonal hiring in the construction sector, the opening and closing of schools, and holiday hiring by retail trade establishments. There is no expectation that seasonally adjusted unemployment rates will be higher or lower in any particular month, except as the economy expands or contracts. The value of seasonally adjusted data is that it is easy to identify longer-term trends in the data and valid comparisons can be made between any two months in the series.

Research & Planning works in cooperation with the Bureau of Labor Statistics to develop and publish unemployment rates for each county in Wyoming. However, these data are not seasonally adjusted and therefore reflect seasonal changes each month.

Table 1: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment
rates ranked from lowest to highest for May 2023
   County                           Rate*
Weston County, WY                    1.9
Niobrara County, WY                  2.1
Converse County, WY                  2.2
Crook County, WY                     2.2
Albany County, WY                    2.4
Goshen County, WY                    2.4
Park County, WY                      2.5
Platte County, WY                    2.5
Sheridan County, WY                  2.5
Campbell County, WY                  2.6
Hot Springs County, WY               2.6
Carbon County, WY                    2.7
Johnson County, WY                   2.7
Wyoming                              2.7
Laramie County, WY                   2.8
Lincoln County, WY                   2.8
Teton County, WY                     2.8
Big Horn County, WY                  2.9
Natrona County, WY                   2.9
Sublette County, WY                  3.0
Uinta County, WY                     3.0
Fremont County, WY                   3.1
Washakie County, WY                  3.1
Sweetwater County, WY                3.2


Table 2: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates over-the-month rate
changes ranked from lowest to highest for May 2023

                                   Month ago              Over-the-Month   
    County                           rate        Rate*     Rate Change    
Teton County, WY                     3.9          2.8         -1.1
Park County, WY                      3.5          2.5         -1.0
Sublette County, WY                  3.9          3.0         -0.9
Carbon County, WY                    3.5          2.7         -0.8
Fremont County, WY                   3.9          3.1         -0.8
Johnson County, WY                   3.5          2.7         -0.8
Platte County, WY                    3.3          2.5         -0.8
Big Horn County, WY                  3.6          2.9         -0.7
Lincoln County, WY                   3.5          2.8         -0.7
Natrona County, WY                   3.6          2.9         -0.7
Niobrara County, WY                  2.8          2.1         -0.7
Washakie County, WY                  3.8          3.1         -0.7
Sheridan County, WY                  3.1          2.5         -0.6
Sweetwater County, WY                3.8          3.2         -0.6
Uinta County, WY                     3.6          3.0         -0.6
Wyoming                              3.3          2.7         -0.6
Campbell County, WY                  3.0          2.6         -0.4
Converse County, WY                  2.6          2.2         -0.4
Crook County, WY                     2.6          2.2         -0.4
Goshen County, WY                    2.8          2.4         -0.4
Laramie County, WY                   3.2          2.8         -0.4
Hot Springs County, WY               2.9          2.6         -0.3
Weston County, WY                    2.2          1.9         -0.3
Albany County, WY                    2.6          2.4         -0.2


Table 3: Wyoming counties not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates over-the-year
changes ranked from lowest to highest for May 2023
                                  Year ago                Over-the-Year   
   County                           Rate         Rate*     Rate Change    
Natrona County, WY                   3.9          2.9         -1.0
Teton County, WY                     3.8          2.8         -1.0
Converse County, WY                  3.1          2.2         -0.9
Washakie County, WY                  4.0          3.1         -0.9
Big Horn County, WY                  3.7          2.9         -0.8
Campbell County, WY                  3.4          2.6         -0.8
Sublette County, WY                  3.8          3.0         -0.8
Park County, WY                      3.2          2.5         -0.7
Wyoming                              3.4          2.7         -0.7
Albany County, WY                    3.0          2.4         -0.6
Fremont County, WY                   3.7          3.1         -0.6
Laramie County, WY                   3.4          2.8         -0.6
Lincoln County, WY                   3.4          2.8         -0.6
Sweetwater County, WY                3.8          3.2         -0.6
Uinta County, WY                     3.6          3.0         -0.6
Weston County, WY                    2.5          1.9         -0.6
Carbon County, WY                    3.2          2.7         -0.5
Platte County, WY                    3.0          2.5         -0.5
Sheridan County, WY                  3.0          2.5         -0.5
Crook County, WY                     2.6          2.2         -0.4
Johnson County, WY                   3.0          2.7         -0.3
Goshen County, WY                    2.6          2.4         -0.2
Hot Springs County, WY               2.7          2.6         -0.1
Niobrara County, WY                  2.1          2.1          0.0


Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
Research & Planning

June 19, 2023

David Bullard, Senior Economist, 307-473-3810

Carola Cowan, BLS Programs Supervisor, 307-473-3804

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This project was developed by the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network and funded through a Cooperative Agreement with U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) funds appropriated by Congress through the CARES Act to assist businesses in recovering from the negative effects of COVID-19. SBDC appreciates ongoing support from the SBA, The Wyoming Business Council, and the University of Wyoming.