The state economy recovered slightly from the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of 2020, but the labor market remained disconcerting moving into 2021, the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division (EAD) says.
According to a March 2021 EAD report, statewide unemployment decreased to 5.3 percent, approximately 1.5 percent lower than the national unemployment rate in the fourth and final quarter of 2020 (4Q2020).
Personal income across the state grew by 0.4 percent while the statewide retail and wholesale trade industries reported a combined increase in taxable sales of 20.3 percent thanks to robust activities in wind power projects, per the report.
Housing prices for single family homes climbed by 8.4 percent and building permits for single family homes increased by 21.5 percent, despite the number of 30-year mortgages hitting a new all-time low, according to the report.
Despite these improvements, however, Wyoming still lost 5,900 from its mining sector alone, per the report, roughly 28.7 percent of the total mining sector workforce to include oil and gas extraction.
Wyoming lost an additional 11,830 jobs from nearly every industrial sector in the state. Approximately 2,400 of those jobs stemmed from the leisure and hospitality, construction, and government sectors, per the report.
All said, Wyoming lost a total of 17,730 jobs at the tail end of 2020, according to the EAD, and total earning in the state shrunk by three percent.
Statewide mineral severance taxes generated $126.7 million in revenue for the state.
Statewide, taxable sales decreased by $4.5 billion, per the report, reflecting a 63.1 percent decline in sales of equipment, supplies, and services from energy exploration and production activity; one of the largest year-over-year drops in Wyoming history, per the report.
Taxable sales in manufacturing, transportation, auto and machinery leasing all decreased by 30 percent in 4Q2020, the EAD states, with 14 out of 23 counties experiencing a decrease in taxable sales in a year-over-year comparison.
Statewide mineral severance taxes showed an improvement over the previous quarter, per the report, and generated $126.7 million in revenue for the state in 4Q2020, but were still 21.1 percent lower than the amount reported during the same time last year.
Nationwide, the U.S. economy is performing better than originally anticipated, according to the report, with Moody analytics predicting monthly payroll job growth to increase by 414,000 this year and real Gross Domestic Product to increase by 5.7 percent.
The U.S. economy is expected to fully recover from the COVID-19 pandemic with the national unemployment projected to fall below four percent within three years, according to the report.