New Report Shows Improving Wyoming Economy
The May ''Wyoming Economic Indicators" report compiled by Wyoming Senior Economist Jim Robinson seems to show a recent trend of gradual improvement in the state economy is continuing.
Robinson's "Wyoming Business-Cycle Index" includes four components. They are unemployment, private wages, sales and use tax collections, and visits to Wyoming national parks. Robinson said Monday he believes the four categories together present an accurate picture of the overall health of Wyoming's economy.
Robinson awarded the state economy a WBCI score of 98.95 in March, compared to a February 2018 score of 98.57. But while the March index was up only slightly from the month before, it was considerably higher than the March 2017 index score of 96.27.
Robinson said key factors in the year-over-year improvement included an increase of 3,500 jobs. The mining sector, always a key component of the Cowboy State economy, was up by 1,700 jobs. The only sector to show a year-over-year decline in the state was the information sector, which was down by 100 jobs.
But Robinson notes that is a really small part of Wyoming's economy, so a decline in that area is not a huge concern overall. Robinson said oil prices which have been soaring to the upper $60 a barrel range and even into the low $70 range are certainly good news.
But he also said those prices would probably have to stay at the level for a couple of months or more to really spark increased oil drilling in the state.