The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 4.1% in December to 4.0% in January. Wyoming’s unemployment rate was the same as the U.S. unemployment rate of 4.0%.
From December to January, most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and increased. Jobless rates usually increase in January because of seasonal job losses in construction, retail trade, government, transportation & utilities, and other sectors.
From January 2018 to January 2019, unemployment rates decreased in 14 counties, increased slightly in eight counties, and remained unchanged in Lincoln County. The largest decreases occurred in energy producing counties. Campbell County’s rate fell from 4.9% to 4.0%.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) increased from 276,100 in January 2018 to 281,300 in January 2019, a gain of 5,200 jobs (or 1.9%).
- Report courtesy the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.
Most of today's businesses were not around 50 years ago and most businesses that will be around 50 years from now don't exist today. That's one of the messages Jack Mason gave to the Energy Capital Economic Development FUEL Business Incubator members and guests at a breakfast meeting March 1 at the Energy Capital Economic Development Enterprise Center.
Jack became the chief operating officer of the University of Wyoming's Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship last fall. The institute seeks to foster innovation and entrepreneurship across the state. Jack was in Gillette last week to visit with local businesses, tour Campbell County and Gillette, and be introduced to the community.
He described the institute's role and resources to the FUEL members and explained how those resources could benefit them. He also emphasized how fast business ideas change and how flexible and innovative business people need to be in order to achieve success.
"We were so happy to have Jack come speak to our FUEL members and guests," Judith Semple, Volunteer Director of the FUEL Business Incubator, said. "As entrepreneurs, they need to know there is support for what they do as well as know about the resources that are readily available for their businesses."
Jack was accompanied by Dr. David Sprott, Dean of the University of Wyoming College of Business. This was their first visit to Gillette. In addition to speaking at the ECED FUEL Business Incubator, Jack presented to the Gillette Energy Rotary Club and the Kiwanis club. The tour of the community included a visit to the Campbell County Rec. Center, The Cam-Plex, Gillette College's Technical Education Center and Area 59, tours of Dry Fork and Atlas Carbon, and much more.
"Gillette warmly welcomed Jack and David," Phil Christopherson, CEO of ECED, said. "Everywhere they went the community members welcomed them."
[Story originally appeared in the Energy Capital Economic Development Newsletter. If you'd like to sign up and receive economic news from across Wyoming, click here.]
A new partnership between CyberWyoming and the Cybersecurity Collaborative brings national content and experts to Wyoming technology professionals.
“The Cybersecurity Collaborative was founded by a group of Industry-Leading CISOs that, with our Community Membership Leadership Council, created these forums so security professionals that wear multiple hats can be immediately updated by Fortune 1000 subject matter experts on cyber challenges they face,” said Stuart Cohen, Chief Executive Officer of the Cybersecurity Collaborative.
CyberWyoming’s aim is to pull communities together and advance the security of Wyoming through information sharing. The Cybersecurity Collaborative brings benefits like a morning security report and community member Q&A calls with leading subject matter experts, working well with CyberWyoming’s vision.
According to a recent report from the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division, sales and use tax collections in fiscal year 2018 were up 15.3%, while lodging tax revenue went up 13.6%.
The report is produced annually and contains sales and use tax collection information categorized by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) super sector. Total sales and use tax collections reached $910.7 million across the state. The year over year growth rate for the state-imposed 4% tax collections was 17.1 percent, in contrast to a decline of 8.2 percent in the previous year.
“Because of two consecutive declines in fiscal years 2016 and 2017, the amount of total sales and use taxes for fiscal year 2018 was still 15.0 percent lower than that of fiscal year 2015, before the economic downturn in the state,” said Dr. Wenlin Liu, Chief Economist with the Economic Analysis Division.
As supply and demand rebalance, both oil and natural gas prices, particularly oil prices, have rebounded considerably since early 2016. Consequently, activities in mineral exploration gradually picked up, as evidenced by the increase of active drilling rigs in the state from twenty in early 2017 to nearly thirty in 2018.
Information and agricultural services showed declines, but the state’s pivotal industry, mining (including oil & gas extraction), demonstrated the largest increase, at 57.2 percent, during the year.
“Around 20% of collections are from the mining industry, therefore the changes in total sales and use tax collections in Wyoming have been greatly affected by the dramatic swing in mineral activities,” Liu commented.
Campbell County showed a boost of 19.9%, with over 20 million dollars more collected than in 2017. The strong sales tax expansion was mainly driven by increased oil and/or natural gas drilling activities.
The Bureau of Land Management High Plains District Office is releasing the Wright Area Coal Leasing 10th Circuit Court Remand Draft Environmental Assessment for a 30-day public comment period. The BLM values input from stakeholders and the communities we serve, and we will consider input we receive during this comment period as we finalize the EA.
BLM Wyoming is preparing this EA in response to a 2017 District Court order requiring the BLM to revise its original environmental analysis of leasing coal in the North Hilight and South Hilight fields in Campbell County, Wyoming, in the Powder River Basin.
The BLM issued a decision in 2012 approving leasing in both areas, and subsequently leased the South Hilight Field. The North Hilight Field remains unleased. A 10th Circuit District Court decision determined that in its analysis, the BLM did not properly consider the decision’s impacts to carbon dioxide emissions, so the BLM is reviewing and revising its analysis to account for the market effect and carbon impacts of leasing the coal. Through its multiple-use mission, the BLM strives to support economic growth and responsible energy development in balance with other important uses of public lands.
The Draft EA is available for review at the following link: https://go.usa.gov/xntFJ. The BLM is accepting comments on the Draft EA for 30 days, through Sept. 1, 2018. Comments may be submitted by mail to Bureau of Land Management, High Plains District Office, Attn: Sarah Bucklin, 2987 Prospector Drive, Casper, WY 82604; or online at https://go.usa.gov/xntFJ.
All comments, including personal identifying information, may be made publicly available at any time. The BLM will not consider anonymous comments.
Questions may be directed to Sarah Bucklin, Project Coordinator, at 307-261-7541.
(Via the Wyoming Taxpayers Association) The co-chairmen of the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) released their quarterly update on Friday, July 27, highlighting the state's revenue collections by major source. The report provides a comparison of revenue collections received from July 1, 2017 through June 2018 to the annual projections made in the January 2018 Wyoming State Government Revenue Forecast.
The report indicates actual General Fund (GF) and Budget Reserve Account (BRA) revenue collections are exceeding the forecasted pace by $56.5 million or 4.4 percent through June 2018 ($315.7 million, or 24.7 percent, ahead when including capital gains and losses).
Sales and use taxes directed to the GF are ahead of the forecast pace by $27.1 million, or 6.1 percent. This is especially important since sales and use tax revenue is both the largest revenue category for the GF and a vital revenue source for cities, towns, and counties. Year-over-year statewide sales and use tax collections are up across the majority of the state, with only four counties (Crook, Goshen, Washakie, and Weston), as well as a handful of municipalities, recording year-over-year declines for FY 2018.
You can read the entire report here.
According to the Wyoming Department of Administration & Information, total taxable sales in Wyoming grew 17.9 percent to $3.9 billion in the first quarter of 2018, based on sales and use tax collections.
"Increases occurred in most economic industries, with the largest boost in mining (including oil & gas extraction),
which accounted for over one-third of the total increase. The mining sector experienced a year-over-year expansion of 45.1 percent due to increased sales of equipment, supplies, and services from new energy exploration and production activity (Wyoming does not impose sales tax on the production of minerals)."
The sales tax figures for this quarter are still 45.3% less than the first quarter of 2014, which was before the overall energy production downturn. Because more than 1/6 of collections come from mining, changes in sales and use tax collections have greatly fluctuated due to changes in mineral activities. Construction was an industry that experienced a decline, however.
"Manufacturing, wholesale trade, and machinery & equipment leasing, and other services sectors, which are closely related to mineral extraction, each increased around 20.0 percent. The public administration sector, which reflects automobile sales, showed an increase of 7.1 percent over the year. The retail trade industry, the largest in terms of sales tax contribution, grew 15.5 percent. Across the state, 21 out of 23 counties experienced increases in taxable sales, led by Converse County (64.2%). Two other counties, Sublette and Platte, demonstrated over 30.0 percent expansions, respectively. Counties with large numbers of mineral activities generally experienced faster growth due to increased drilling. "
You can read the entire report for the first quarter of 2018 by clicking here.
The Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Division is proposing changes that will affect the Division’s rules, regulations and fee schedule. These proposals include modifications to the Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Rules, Regulations and Fee Schedules.The Department proposes to update Chapter 13 (Presumption of Disability for Certain Diseases), due to a new statute change.
This chapter addresses the authority and hearing requirements for firefighters applying for workers’ compensation benefits. In 2017, the Wyoming Legislature passed a new statute that provides specifics regarding firefighters seeking disability or compensation for job-related injuries or diseases.
The Workers Comp rule states that hearings for firefighters applying for workers' compensation benefits will proceed under the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act. The statute that passed last year was very specific and detailed in the sorts of diseases that firefighters in Wyoming are covered for, and the procedures with which they can seek compensation, therefore the Workforce rules are very brief.
Nonetheless, the Department is seeking the public's input on these changes. The public comment period will end at close of business on August 15, 2018.
Via traditional mail, send comments to:
Wyoming Workers’ Compensation Division
1510 East Pershing Boulevard
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Or via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proposed rules may be downloaded, free of charge, by clicking here.
Mike Wandler, president of L&H Industrial, has a lot he can say about his family business. The company has grown from a six-man welding shop in Gillette, Wyoming to a global manufacturer of heavy industrial equipment with over 500 employees worldwide. Changing the direction of L&H from servicing just oil fields to manufacturing machinery is what catapulted the company in to international notoriety.
When NASA realized it needed to bring its shuttle transport system out of the 1960s, it was Wandler, L&H, and a subcontractor called Vencore that they turned to.
"The task that NASA tasked Vencore and us with is to increase the carrying capacity of that machine by six million pounds," Wandler told Forward Sheridan about the project last year.
The NASA Crawler Transporter is the biggest land vehicle on Earth, capable of hauling 20 million pounds of rocket to the launchpad. L&H's design increases carrying capacity by 30 percent, relying on the strength of the undercarriages they can build almost entirely in-house.
In his upcoming presentation brought to you by the Rockpile Museum and the Campbell County Public Library, Wandler will discuss L&H’s current work in the fields of mining, oil and gas, and railroads, and what the future might hold for these industries in Wyoming. This program is held in conjunction with the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, The Way We Worked, which is currently open at the Rockpile Museum.
"Past, Present, and Future" will take place July 12th at 7 p.m. at the Campbell County Public Library. You can see the full series event list here.
The Q2 MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index (Index) released May 30 recorded an overall score of 68.7, up 2.4 points from the Q1 score of 66.3, driven in part by the strongest local economic outlook on record, a firmer hiring environment, and a stronger backdrop for investing. Two out of every three small business owners are optimistic about their company and the small business environment in the United States, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Metlife.