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Oil and gas jobs, rigs down as production ramps up in first quarter of 2024


CASPER, Wyo. — Although Wyoming added 2,800 jobs since February 2023, oil and gas jobs are down 400 even as production ramps up, according to the Economic Analysis Division of the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information.

That’s some of the many details included in the state’s quarterly MACRO report, released in late April. The report focuses on employment, energy, state revenues and other economic indicators.

Positive economic indicators in the first quarter include statewide employment growth, which has increased year-over-year each month since the pandemic hit the labor market in April 2020, and a February statewide unemployment rate of 2.8%.

“This is the 11th consecutive month the unemployment rate has been below 3.0%,” the report states.

Although overall employment is up, the report says the mining sector decreased year-over-year by 600 jobs, or 3.5%. Employment growth was seen in the state and local government and construction sectors, which saw annual increases of over 1,000 jobs, according to the report.

Another positive was oil prices have climbed above $80 per barrel for the first time this year, contributing positively to the state’s economy.

Negative indicators include a decline in March sales and use tax collections for the first time in almost three years, natural gas prices dropping to their lowest level in more than 25 years and severance tax collections in each of the first nine months of the 2024 fiscal year being lower than a year ago, according to the report.

Analysts found that oil and gas jobs were at 8,800 in Wyoming in February, down 400, or 4.3%, from last year. Oil and gas rigs were 10 and 1, respectively, in March. That’s down from 17 and 3 in March 2023. However, natural gas production was up 7.1% in January compared to last year. Oil production increased by 14.6% in January while coal production declined 16.3%.

As for statewide sales and use tax, collections through the first nine months of the fiscal year were up $57.7 million, or 8.3%, compared to last year. Albany County saw the largest increase in collections, up 72.1%. Hot Springs County fell the most, down 19.6%.

Sales and use tax collections from the mining sector were up $9.6 million.

Severance tax collections through March were down 34.4% compared to the last fiscal year.

The report also says Quarter 4 2023 real Gross Domestic Product increased 3.4% from Quarter 3. Nationally, real GDP was up 3.4%.

Wyoming’s house prices in Quarter 4 grew 3.5%, compared to 5.7% nationally. While Cheyenne’s house prices fell 0.7%, Casper’s grew 8.1%, according to the report. Statewide single-family homes permitted increased year-to-date through the end of February by 74, or 57.4%. Multi-family units permitted increased by 35, or 233.3%.

For detailed charts on the report, see below: