Taxable sales up 44%

Alexis Barker

Alexis Barker 

NLJ News Editor


Taxable sales in Weston County rose by 44% during the second quarter of 2020, despite an overall decrease of 12.8% across the state, according to the newest Wyoming Economic Summary Report. 

“During the worst effect of the pandemic (that) occurred in the second quarter of 2020, Wyoming’s unemployment rate reached 8.9%, the highest level since the mid-1980s,” said Wenlin Liu in the report. Liu is chief economist with the State of Wyoming, Economic Analysis Division. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the global economy by inducing historic supply and demand shocks. As most countries imposed various lockdown measures to fight the spread of the virus, the sudden and sharp recession resulted in massive business closures and job losses,” Liu said. “However, Moody’s Analytics expects that the worst effect of the pandemic occurred in the second quarter of 2020.” 

During this time, taxable sales dipped 12.8% from the same time a year ago, the largest drop since the third quarter of 2016, Liu said. 

Despite an unemployment rate of over 5% during the second quarter of the year, Weston County was still able to see an increase in taxable sales by $587,223 overall.  

The breakdown of the Weston County taxable sales provided by Liu show that a majority of the industries saw decreases and only a handful saw an increase, with manufacturing increasing by a whopping 2,025.5%. 

According to the report, during the second quarter of 2020, Weston County saw taxable sales reach $694,506 in the manufacturing sector. During the same period in 2019, manufacturing was responsible for $32,660 in taxable sales for the county. 

While the manufacturing sector had the most significant increase, the other areas that increased included construction, 20.6%; retail trade,  28.8%; professional and businesses services, 21.8%; and educational and health services, 51.1%. 

A majority of the sectors in the area experienced a decrease in taxable sales, though, according to the report. The most significant decreases were seen in public administration, reflecting automobile sales, down 34.7%; mining, down 34.2%; leisure and hospitality, down 31.1%; financial activities, down 26.2%; and transportation and warehousing, down 22.1%. 

Weston County was one of only two counties during this time to see an increase in taxable sales over 17%, the other being Carbon County at 108.6%. Fremont, Washakie, Big Horn, Sheridan, Goshen and Albany Counties all experienced increases in taxable sales, although these ranged from 4.6% in Fremont County to 16.7% in Goshen County. 

A total of 15 of Wyoming’s 23 counties experienced varying amounts of decrease in taxable sales, resulting in an overall decrease of 12.8% for Wyoming. The report notes that statewide decreases were experienced in most economic sectors. 

The counties experiencing the largest decreases in taxable sales were Sublette, -61.3%; Converse, -50.1%; Campbell, -25.1%; and Teton,  down 23.3%. The remaining counties experienced decreases ranging from 2% in Lincoln County to 17.2% in Johnson County. 

“Since then, the global economy has begun the long road to recovery, aided by aggressive fiscal and monetary stimulus,” Liu said. “The U.S. recovery appears to be reaching a plateau. After rallying early in the summer, the economy has since been slowing down amid the end of the federal stimulus and the resurgence of the virus in some places.”


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