By Molly Messick
Laramie, Wyo. – Wyoming's unemployment rate fell in June, to 6 point 8 percent. That's the fifth consecutive month of decreasing unemployment in the state, and that's good news. But University of Wyoming economist Rob Godby says the most recent numbers also show underlying weaknesses.
He says the unemployment rate has dropped in part because some have given up looking for work in the state. And he says significant losses in construction jobs from May to June are cause for worry. "Construction has traditionally been one of the two major drivers in the state. Construction and energy jobs in the past boom were what really kept the state going. And one of those two legs is gone."
Godby says tourism jobs have traditionally been the third leg of private employment in the state. Hospitality and leisure jobs did pick up from May to June - but employment in that sector still lags behind last year's levels.