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Unemployment bumps up

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Alexis Barker, NLJ News Editor

Unemployment in Weston County followed the normal seasonal pattern from December to January, increasing from 2.1% to 2.7%, according to a report from the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Research and Planning Division, dated March 12. The report notes that every county in the state experienced an increase.

“Jobless rates usually rise in January as seasonal job losses are seen in many sectors, including construction, retail trade, government, professional & business services, and transportation, warehousing, & utilities,” the report says.

With the increase to 2.7%, Weston County experienced the second smallest increase (0.6%) behind Teton County at 0.2%.

The largest increases were seen in Big Horn County (up from 3.4% to 4.8%), Johnson County (up from 2.6% to 4%), Fremont County (up from 3% to 4.3%), Park County (up from 2.8% to 4.1%) and Sweetwater County (up from 2.9% to 4.2%).

In addition to having one of the smallest increases, Weston County also had the second-lowest unemployment rate, behind Teton County at 2.2% and followed by Converse County at 3.1%. The highest unemployment rates were seen in Big Horn (4.8%), Fremont (4.3%) and Sublette (4.3%) counties.

“From January 2023 to January 2024, unemployment rates fell in 16 counties, remained unchanged in five counties and rose slightly in two counties,” the report says.

Details in the report show that Weston County was one of the counties that remained the same year-over-year at 2.7%.

Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 3.3% to 2.8% year-over-year. The state also showed a decrease from December to January (from 2.9% to 2.8%), despite the increases in every county.

Seasonal adjustment, the report says, 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) for economic time series to better understand changes in economic conditions from month to month.”

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