Wyoming Jobless Rate Up Slightly
Wyoming's statewide unemployment rate increased from 4.0 % in February to 4.1% in March, according to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
.But Senior Economist David Bullard says the increase isn't statistically significant, and points out the March rate was still below the state's March 2014 jobless rate of 4.2%.
The state's most recent numbers also are well below the national jobless rate in March of 5.5%.
Even so, most Wyoming counties did see increased unemployment last month. The biggest increases were seen in Big Horn (up from 5.0% to 5.7%), Natrona (4.4% to 5.0), Converse (3.6% to 4.0%) Uinta (5.3% to 5.7%).
Bullard says rising unemployment in the oil and gas sectors was a major contributing factor in the increases, especially in Natrona, Converse and Uinta counties. Bullard says low energy prices will remain a concern for the economy until they go up.
Laramie County's jobless rate increased from 4.4% to 4.5% in March. Bullard points out the Laramie County unemployment rate in March 2014 was 4.8% "so it doesn't look like Laramie County is being affected as much" by low energy prices.
Bullard says statewide about 2,900 new (nonfarm) jobs have been created in Wyoming over the past year.