CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 6.2 percent in March, but was significantly lower than a year ago.
The state unemployment rate in March 2010 stood at 7.3 percent.
At the same time, Wyoming joblessness was significantly lower than in the United States overall, which registered an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent.
Despite a flattening of the unemployment rate, David Bullard, senior economist with the state Department of Employment Research and Planning Section, said unemployment was still lower in every county than a year ago.
The lowest unemployment rates were found in Sublette (3.9 percent), Albany (4.9 percent) and Campbell (5.0 percent) counties.
Lincoln County posted the highest unemployment rate at 10.2 percent, followed by Johnson County at 9.2 percent and Big Horn County at 8.6 percent.
Employment in mining and logging, including oil and gas, increased from 24,100 in March 2010 to 26,200 this year on a seasonally unadjusted basis, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In addition, construction picked up about 800 jobs, moving to 20,700 in March.
Wenlin Liu, senior economist with the state Economic Analysis Division, said the pace of recovery in Wyoming is better than the national average.
Total nonfarm income in the state rose to 277,300 in March, an increase of 1.1 percent from a year earlier.
However, large food and gasoline bills have been cutting into disposable income, leaving less money for other goods and services.
“If this situation prolongs, it could weigh on the economy and undercut economic growth prospects,” Liu said.