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Wyoming tax collections, unemployment rate suggest signs economy is recovering from 2020 pandemic impacts

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CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Economic Analysis Division released its November 2021 issue of the Wyoming Economic Indicators report on Thursday, which shows signs that the Cowboy State’s economy is recovering from impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The report shows that the unemployment rate in Wyoming was 4.5% in September 2021, down from 5.7% in September 2020.

“The fact that the unemployment rate has returned close to pre-COVID levels signifies that the labor market has certainly improved from the worst parts of the pandemic,” the Economic Analysis Division said in a press release Thursday.

The unemployment rate was also down from the August 2021 rate of 4.9%.

Nonfarm payroll jobs in September stood at 272,100, down 600 from August but up 1,700 compared with September 2020.

“By September 2021, Wyoming recovered about 38 percent of the 26,000 jobs lost during the worst parts of the pandemic (March 2020-April 2020),” the report states.

Wyoming’s sales and use tax collections from the mining sector in September were up $3.2 million, or 88.9% compared with September 2020. However, such tax revenues from the mining sector have been down in 2021 compared with the five-year average.

“Through the first nine months of 2021 (January–September), total collections from the mining sector
summed to $41.5 million, $31.4 million less (-43.1%) than the 5-year average sum from January to September,” the report states.

4% sales and use tax from lodging totaled $4.3 million in September 2021, up 34.8% from September 2020.

“This is the sixth consecutive month of year-over-year increases in collections, a bright sign that the tourism sector is recovering from the pandemic,” the report states.

The report adds that the Wyoming Economic Health Index stood at 102.6 in September 2021. That is up from a value of 99.8 in September 2020, but lower than the 2019 score of 106.8. That index is based on the monthly employment rate, monthly non-farm employment, sales and use tax collections from the mining sector and sales and use tax collections from lodging.

Further information is available in the full report.

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