Wyoming Economy Continues to Improve, Report Finds
The U.S. economy is expanding with favorable economic conditions, and Wyoming is right there with it.
In the third quarter of 2018 (3Q2018), the state experienced an increase in the employment sector of 1.3 percent, making the quarter the largest year-over-year growth since the fourth quarter of 2014, according to a report from the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information.
Wyoming’s mineral extraction industry has boosted drilling activities, reportedly adding over 1,100 jobs, an increase of 5.7 percent over the previous year.
Oil prices are also continuing upwards, with WTI crude oil fetching $49.29 a barrel and Brent crude oil prices hovering at $59.15 a barrel.
Employment numbers also improved certain in economic sectors, including transportation, manufacturing, and wholesale trade, the report states.
On the flip side, the government sector and retail trade industry combined reported a decrease in employment of 2.9 percent.
The state’s unemployment rate rose slightly in 3Q2018 and now sits at 3.9 percent, just over the national unemployment rate of 3.8 percent.
Wyoming residents experienced a growth in personal income by 4.5 percent in 3Q2018. Comparatively, the U.S. personal income sector increased by 4.4 percent in the same period.
According to the report, personal income is income received by residents from all sources. It includes a combination of wages and salaries, proprietor’s earnings, property income, social security income, and Medicare and Medicaid benefits.
In total, earnings in the state increased by 3.5 percent and property income increased by 6.1 percent.
Statewide utility industries reported the fasted growth of 3Q2018 with 20.7 percent. Construction, financial activities, and professional and business services reported an increase of 7.0 percent.
Reportedly, Wyoming’s state and local government sector are the only sector to have declined over the course of 2018.
Housing leveling out
Across the state, 3Q2018 home prices showed an increase of 4.4 percent over the previous year and increased at a faster rate than the previous quarter.
Mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates in September 2018 are reportedly lower than last year, according to CoreLogic.
But it appears as if the rate of building permits for private, single family homes showed a decrease as well; the rate is reportedly 2.5 percent lower in 3Q2018 than in the previous year.
New home-building is at a standstill, the result of a persistent shortage of skilled and specialty construction labor to meet increasing demand.
However, the housing market is leveling out and home prices across the state continue to rise at a slower rate than last year, according to the report.
Tax sales up
Total taxable sales in Wyoming grew by 9.3 percent, sitting at $5.2 billion for 3Q2018.
Most economic industries reported increases with the largest growth coming from the mining sector, which reported a year-over-year expansion of 21.1 percent including oil and gas extraction.
The increase is the result of improved sales for equipment, supplies, and services from new energy exploration and production activities, according to the report.
Despite the increase, however, taxable sales in the mining industry are still 30.7 percent below figures reported in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Investment income into the state’s general fund showed a 15.8 percent increase in 3Q2018 than in 2017, reaching in excess of $73.9 million.
Mineral severance taxes were reportedly over $174.9 million, a 14.5 percent increase over last year, making it the highest amount recorded since the end of 2014.