Unemployment up in January

Alexis Barker, NLJ News Editor

Weston County’s unemployment rate remained one of the lowest in the state in January, despite increasing by 0.4%, according to a March 14 report from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Research and Planning Division. 


“Teton County reported the lowest unemployment rate in January at 2.7%. It was followed by Weston County at 2.9% and Converse County at 3.3%,” the report says. “The highest rates were found in Sweetwater County at 5.3%, Big Horn County at 5.2% and Fremont County at 5.2%.” 


According to the report, Weston County followed the normal seasonal pattern by increasing from the 2.4% seen in December to the 2.9% recorded in January. 


“Unemployment rates usually rise in January because of seasonal job losses in construction, retail trade, professional & business service and government,” the report states. 


Year over year, Weston County was one of nine counties to see the unemployment rate decrease from 3.2% to 2.9%. Thirteen counties saw their unemployment rates increase, and Crook County’s unemployment rate remained unchanged. 


Statewide, the unemployment rate in January was reported to be 4.3%, up from 3.6% in December. 


Seasonally adjusted, the rates were 3.9% in both months. Seasonal adjustment is a 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 to economic conditions from month to month, the report explains. 


“Wyoming has recently completed a comprehensive annual revision of its unemployment data. The new data show that Wyoming’s unemployment rate hit a low point of 3.2% in April 2022 and then increased modestly to 3.9% in October 2022. Wyoming’s unemployment rate remained stable at 3.9% from October 2022 to January 2023,” the report says


Nationally, the unemployment rate was 3.9% in January, up from 3.3% in December. Seasonally adjusted, the rates were 3.4% and 3.5% respectively. 


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