CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming's unemployment rate ticked up in February, reversing a downward trend that tracked last year's easing of coronavirus public health orders.
The February rate was 5.3%, up from 5.1% in January and 5.2% in December, according to the Wyoming Department of Workforce Services.
Wyoming's unemployment rate reached 8.5% last May but fell over the summer, reaching 5.4% in October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Wyoming's rate this past February was nearly 1 point lower than the U.S. average, 6.2%. Wyoming still had about 15,000 fewer jobs than it did a year earlier, however.
Unemployment rates increased in 15 of Wyoming's 23 counties in February. They fell in five counties and remained steady in three, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.
Natrona County, a hub of Wyoming's still suffering fossil fuel industries, had Wyoming's highest unemployment rate, 8.9%, followed by Sublette (8.8%) and Sweetwater (7.6%) counties.
Teton (4.4%), Albany (4.5%) and Crook (4.5%) counties had the lowest unemployment.