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Wyoming’s capital sees economic downturn due to job decrease

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming's capital city is experiencing an economic downturn driven by a reduction in local mining and construction jobs, a new report said.

Cheyenne experienced a 5.5% reduction in local mining and construction jobs in the past year, The Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports.

The state Department of Administration and Information released the information in its latest quarterly report.

Overall the city added more than 400 jobs over the year, with 7.7% of those in manufacturing.

Cheyenne's business-cycle index is based on an analysis of unemployment rates, private sector jobs and wages, tax collection, and median home prices. The index has declined since last year.

The loss of mining jobs contributed to a 10.3% decrease in weekly earnings for Cheyenne's private sector employees, from $833 this time last year to $747.

In Casper, the other city profiled by the report, earnings saw a $1 increase.

"There's some pretty good evidence that the economy is starting to slow down statewide," said Jim Robinson, an economist and author of the report. "From Cheyenne's view, I think the slowdown is probably even more significant."

The decline in mining jobs is related to a declining mining industry nationwide. Wyoming's natural gas and coal production has decreased by 10.6% and 9.4%, respectively.

"When you lose jobs there, that tends to pull down the index value for Cheyenne," Robinson said.

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