CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Recent data shows Wyoming's average rate of unemployment remains higher than national numbers.

The U.S. unemployment rate currently sits at 3.7 percent compared to Wyoming's 4.2 percent.

The state's gradual climb out of a simultaneous bust in coal, oil and gas has yet to fill the gaps in jobs and state income created by the downturn. But a year and a half of favorable crude prices has shifted job numbers, particularly in areas of the state where activity in the oil and gas fields predominates.

The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services says the state recently reached 18,000 total job applications at one point. The influx is caused by producers jockeying for control of drilling and spacing units in Wyoming, where current rules favor first come, first served.

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