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Mon April 4, 2011
Wyoming oil and gas employment has been declining since December
By Molly Messick
Laramie, WY – For the first time since the state began its economic recovery, Wyoming has seen two months of decreasing oil and gas employment. That's the headline news from a recent state Economic Analysis Division report. While the state gained 19 hundred jobs in the mining sector between February of 2010 and February of this year, oil and gas employment has been on a downward tilt since December. Senior Economist Jim Robinson says that means the Wyoming economy may be in for a leveling off period.
"What we have here really is not a bust situation. But what we really have is, I think, is a leveling off in the industry. What's available in terms of leases. What is being driven by current natural gas prices and crude oil prices. Everything is in play right now and we have equilibrium given all of those different factors in the industry."
Robinson says Wyoming has so far seen a relatively one-dimensional recovery, with gains coming mainly from the energy sector. He says the state will be on course for a dynamic rebound when it sees job growth in construction and retail trade.