CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — State data shows the mining industry experienced its steepest decline ever in Wyoming history.

The state's Economic Analysis Division compared data from the first quarter of 2015 to the same period this year and found the mining sector declined by more than 55 percent.

The national jobless rate fell to 4.9 percent while state unemployment stands at 5 percent after the loss of almost 8,700 jobs.

A state economist said the state's unemployment rate hasn't been higher than that of the rest of the country since the Great Recession. He said the largest factor has been the mineral extraction industry.

The minerals extraction industry accounts for about a fifth of sales tax collections.

Data also shows taxable sales were down almost 25 percent.