Laramie, WY – A survey of rural bankers in Wyoming and eight other Midwestern and Plains states says job growth hit its weakest reading in nearly two years.
The January new hiring index fell to 46.6., down from December's 50.6.
An index greater than 50 indicates a growing economy over the next three to six months, but one less than 50 indicates economic recession.
Results from surveys over the past five months indicate that jobs are being added at a pace well below average -- even with record farm income.
In other areas, retail sales were a dismal 42.4, down from December's weak 45.6.
However, the survey indicates a continued growth in economic activity, particularly in agriculture.
The overall economic index for the region advanced to 55.7 in January from 54.3 in December.