WPR News
6:41 pm
Mon April 19, 2010

Unemployment rate drops again

Laramie, WY – Wyoming's jobless numbers are looking slightly better. The state's unemployment rate dropped in March. It is now seven point three percent, down from seven point five in February. This is not a significant change, but it is the second consecutive month of marginal improvement. University of Wyoming economist Rob Godby says the latest figures show that there were 300 more employed people in Wyoming in March than in February.
"The best news here is that the declines in employment seem to have ended. We're getting some temporary positions in the government sector and given the fact that the private sector has stopped reducing the number of people working, hopefully the next step is we'll see employment increasing in the state as well."
Of the 11 major sectors of the economy in Wyoming five saw increases in employment, five saw decreases and one was flat. Government is doing a lot of hiring right now, mostly to staff the census.
Godby says the state has seen about 1500 new government jobs since January and most of those are temporary census workers.
"Would I prefer them to be permanent jobs? Absolutely, but in this recession, even though it is probably over we'll take anything we can get."
Most of the census jobs will run through at least part of the summer. Godby says that might good timing, as he expects hiring to pick up by then. He also points out that Wyoming is doing a lot better in terms of employment than most neighboring states.