Wyoming 1st Quarter Economic Report
Wenlin Liu, the Chief Economist for the state of Wyoming, has published his Economic Summary for the first quarter of the year.
And it makes for frankly depressing reading. Here are a few highlights, or lowlights.
Wyoming experienced a decline of 3.0 percent (or 8,680 jobs) in total employment in the first quarter of 2016 compared to one year earlier, the worst performance since the first quarter of 2009. Wyoming’s unemployment rate climbed to 5.0 percent in the quarter, while in the U.S., it fell slightly to 4.9 percent. Most industrial sectors in the state experienced job decreases during the period.
Wyoming’s total personal income declined 1.2 percent in the first quarter of 2016 from the previous year. U.S. personal income increased 4.4 percent during the same period.
The statewide home price continued to grow moderately in the first quarter of 2016, but at a slower speed. The year-over-year appreciation rate of 1.7 percent was less than one-third of the national average pace of 5.7 percent during the same period. In Wyoming, single family building permits for new privately-owned residential construction in the first quarter of 2016 were 17.0 percent lower than previous year level, while multi-family permits were twice as much as last year.
TAXES AND REVENUE
Based on sales and use tax collections, total taxable sales in the state amounted to $3.3 billion in the first quarter of 2016, a decrease of 24.5 percent from the first quarter of 2015. The scale of the contraction was close to the level experienced during the Great Recession. Declines occurred in nearly every economic industry, with the largest drop in the mining (including oil and gas extraction) sector, which alone contributed nearly half of the total decrease.
The number of recreational visitations to Yellowstone
National Park reached 89,872 in the first quarter of 2016, up 5.2 percent from the previous year, but 155,934 visits in Grand Teton National Park barely changed during the same period. Reduced gasoline prices and the strong nationwide labor
market drew more people to the Parks.
The index of prices received bY farmers for all U.S. livestock
and products rose slightly in the first quarter of 2016, but still
substantially lower than a year ago level. Reduced cattle
inventory from the multiyear drought, strong beef exports, and
recovery in domestic demand pushed livestock prices to an all-
time high in the fourth quarter of 2014. Consequently, farm
earnings in the state also reached a record of $391 million in
that quarter, but decreased significantly in 2015 and the
downward trend continued in early 2016.