The Research & Planning section of the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services reported today that the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 3.7% in March to 3.6% in April.
Wyoming’s unemployment rate was lower than its April 2018 level of 4.0% and the same as the current U.S. unemployment rate of 3.6%.
Most county unemployment rates followed their normal seasonal pattern and fell from March to April. Warmer spring weather often brings job gains in construction, professional & business services, and other sectors.
Washakie County’s unemployment rate fell from 5.0% to 3.6%, Crook County’s rate fell from 4.2% to 3.1%, and Park County’s rate fell from 4.9% to 3.9%. Teton County’s unemployment rate rose from 2.4% in March to 3.8% in April as the ski season ended.
From April 2018 to April 2019, unemployment rates fell in nearly every county, suggesting a general tightening in the state’s labor market. The largest unemployment rate decreases were seen in Lincoln (down from 4.3% to 3.1%), Fremont (down from 5.1% to 3.9%), Hot Springs (down from 4.0% to 2.9%), Natrona (down from 4.5% to 3.5%), and Converse (down from 3.6% to 2.6%) counties.
The highest unemployment rates in Wyoming were found in Big Horn County at 4.5% and Fremont, Park, and Uinta counties, all at 3.9%. The lowest unemployment rates were reported in Niobrara County at 2.2% and Albany and Converse counties, both at 2.6%.
Total nonfarm employment in Wyoming (not seasonally adjusted and measured by place of work) increased from 279,400 in April 2018 to 283,500 in April 2019, a gain of 4,100 jobs (1.5%).
Research & Planning has scheduled the May employment news release for June 25, 2019.
“In my time on the Board of Directors, I hope to keep the Chamber moving in the right direction, promoting local businesses, as well as helping attract new ones. I like to explain to local businesses the benefits of being on the Chamber. The promotion a business receives from mixers, banquet, monthly newsletter and monthly luncheons is very beneficial.
“What I've learned about the Chamber that I didn't know before I started volunteering here, is I now know more about the Convention Center & Visitor's Bureau, as well as Economic Development, and what they both bring to Gillette. ”
“Who wants to work in construction?,” asked Jason Kaufman with S & S Builders, LLC.
None of the students raised their hands.
“Who would like to be a welder?”
Hands started going up. More hands raised when Kaufman talked about mechanics, and working in the mines.
“Those are all jobs in construction,” he said. “We work at the mines all the time.”
Volunteers from the Campbell County Chamber of Commerce’s NEWCA Board of Directors talked to students from Campbell County High School CTE classes on Wednesday, about working in the skilled trades. The day was interactive, with students leading the discussion, and learning from those working in different skilled trades in Campbell County.
One student asked Knecht Home Center of Gillette's Liz Mussell: “How much exactly do you make?”
The federal Economic Development Administration has approved Energy Capital Economic Development's application for a grant to provide part of the funding for the Advanced Carbon Products Innovation Center (ACPIC).
The money will be used to help purchase the land, install infrastructure and build a facility at the Fort Union Industrial Park. This facility will provide a space for organizations to take their existing lab research and commercialize it for new and profitable products made from coal.
ACPIC will provide a space where lab research can be taken from the lab and be proven to be commercially viable. Once the process and products are proven, the next step is a commercial industrial manufacturing plant to make the product. This will provide two important parts of Campbell County's future economic growth.
The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce and CyberWyoming partnered to win a Microsoft TechSpark Grant and provide local cyber risk advice to area businesses. That grant was awarded on March 7.
The idea for the collaboration formed in October when Patrick Wolfinbarger and Laura Baker, Co-Founders of CyberWyoming, and Dennis Ellis, Microsoft TechSpark Manager, met with Stephanie Meisner-Maggard of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce to discuss an idea to build Wyoming’s cybersecurity awareness level.
“The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce is always looking for ways to provide businesses with resources. With the modernization of FE Warren being around the corner, it is vital for businesses to focus their attention on cybersecurity. CyberWyoming’s Made Safe program is a great solution that we have decided to integrate into our Business Accreditation Program,” said Meisner.
The scope of the project is to increase small business cybersecurity advocacy, education, awareness, and adoption of best practices in the Cheyenne community by training a cybersecurity business counselor (CBC) who will assist businesses and reside in the Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce. According to the Cybersecurity Small Businesses by Paulsen in 2016, nearly half of cybercrimes are targeted at small to medium sized businesses. Yet the 2016 CSID/Experian’s Small Business Security Report states that 51% of small businesses are not allocating any budget to cyber risk mitigations, so it is clear that there is a gap between need and adoption of cybersecurity best practices.
The Wyoming Business Council’s State Energy Office will have competitive federal grant funds available for Wyoming local governments, public schools and small businesses seeking to improve their buildings while reducing utility costs.
The money will be split between four programs.
Local Government Energy Improvement
Comprehensive Retrofit Grant
Available to towns, cities and counties for improvements and retrofits like installing insulation; adding weather sealing; purchase of Energy Star or solar powered appliances; upgrades of showers and faucets; or replacement of boilers, hot water heaters, HVAC systems, windows and doors.
Retrofit Grant (LIGHTING ONLY)
Available to towns, cities and counties to upgrade current lighting systems to energy-efficient systems, which may include occupancy controls and auto dimming according to natural light.
Public School Energy Improvement
Retrofit Grant (LIGHTING ONLY)
Available to K-12 public schools to upgrade current lighting systems to energy-efficient systems, which may include occupancy controls and auto dimming according to natural light.
Applicants must sign up for the Wyoming Energy Conservation Improvement Program by May 31, 2019, to receive a free energy assessment. The assessment must be completed before submitting the grant application. Grant applications are due July 31, 2019.
Small Business Energy Audit/Retrofit Grant
Small businesses, nonprofits and local governments are all encouraged to apply to the Small Business Energy Audit/Retrofit Grant Program.
Energy efficiency improvements are often overlooked as cost-saving and building-improvement opportunities.
The program funds up to 75 percent of the cost of an energy audit and some energy efficiency improvements. Grants are not to exceed $5,000 to entities pursuing an energy audit and retrofits that were identified in the audit.
Residences and housing units are ineligible.
For additional information and to download an application, please visit http://wyomingbusiness.org/energy or email Sherry Hughes at email@example.com
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.