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Monday, January 27, 2020

Jobs and Wages in 2019, Part 2

Here are more details on the jobs market in America's weakest state economy.

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Last week I reported that In December, we were the only state that saw a decline in both wages and employment. Furthermore, in the fourth quarter of last year, Wyoming had the worst private-sector jobs numbers in the nation. 

Today we can add more details to that number, but before we delve into the bad news we need to note that the numbers on wages and salaries was not quite as bad as the employment numbers. At a 0.86-percent increase in weekly wages for Q4 last year, we ranked 44th in the nation.

An industry breakdown does not play out much better for Wyoming; in all my years doing this I have not seen such a stern case against tax increases as in the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. For sure, our state has been in even worse shape: the decline in employment in 2016-2017 was far worse. The difference, though, is that this time the national economy is growing at steady pace; we would also see strong growth had we not built one of the costliest government sectors in the country

Table 1 reports annual growth rates in private-sector employment, month by month, for 13 private-sector industries. Normally, I report fewer industries, sticking strictly to the super-categories in the BLS data, but given the serious nature of the numbers I went into a bit more detail. Wholesale trade is separated from TWU, or Trade, Warehousing and Utilities (also referred to as infrastructure services). Private education and health, normally reported as one super-sector, are also separated.

Leisure and Hospitality, LH, has been kept as one sector, due to the homogeneity in its sub-categories.

In December, seven of the thirteen industries reduced employment, up from five industries in November and four in October:

Table 1
Source of raw data: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Mining -1.0% -0.5% 1.0% 2.5% 1.0% 0.0% -3.4% -5.7% -6.2% -7.1% -3.8% -4.8%
Constr. 14.9% 13.4% 14.7% 10.5% 9.9% 10.0% 10.2% 5.0% 4.7% -0.9% -6.8% -10.8%
Manuf. 8.3% 7.4% 7.4% 6.4% 7.4% 6.2% 5.2% 4.1% 1.0% 2.0% 1.0% 0.0%
Whole. 2.5% 2.5% 1.2% 2.5% 2.5% 0.0% 0.0% 1.2% 2.4% 1.2% 1.2% 2.4%
Retail 3.2% 3.9% 3.2% 2.8% 3.4% 3.3% 3.9% 3.6% 3.4% 2.0% 1.0% -0.3%
TWU 2.1% 4.9% 4.9% 4.9% 5.6% 5.5% 5.5% 5.5% 3.4% 4.9% 3.4% -2.0%
Info -2.8% -2.8% -2.8% -2.8% -2.8% 0.0% 0.0% 2.9% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Finance -0.9% -0.9% -0.9% -1.8% -1.8% -0.9% -0.9% -0.9% 0.0% 3.7% 3.7% 1.8%
PBS 7.5% 8.1% 4.6% 4.4% 1.1% 1.6% -0.5% -3.0% -2.1% 0.0% -3.7% -6.8%
Education 3.3% 3.2% 0.0% 3.3% 0.0% 4.3% 4.3% 9.1% -6.7% -12.5% -10.0% -10.0%
Health -1.6% -1.6% -2.8% -2.4% -2.4% -2.8% -1.6% -2.8% -3.2% -3.2% -1.6% -0.4%
LH -1.5% -2.4% -2.1% -4.9% -4.1% 0.0% 1.4% 2.6% 2.8% 1.4% 1.6% 4.6%
Other svcs 1.2% 3.7% 3.7% 3.7% 4.9% 6.0% 7.2% 7.3% 6.1% 1.8% 0.0% 1.8%

One of the most striking pieces of information in Table 1 is that private health care reduced its number of employees throughout all of 2019, compared to 2018. 

On the upside, it is encouraging to see that LH, or Leisure and Hospitality, not only had more employees in the latter half of last year compared to 2018, but that the difference actually accelerated. This should raise an even stronger warning flag for our legislators: not only is this currently our strongest industry, employment-wise, but it is also one that would be hit particularly hard by a corporate income tax.

 Looking at these employment numbers over a longer horizon, there are even more warning lights flashing for our legislators. Using annual averages, over the past ten years:

  • Mining has lost 21 percent percent of its jobs;
  • Construction is down 10.3 percent;
  • Wholesale trade employment has declined by 4.3 percent;
  • Retail is at a virtual standstill of -1.6 percent;
  • The information industry has lost 11 percent of its jobs;
  • Finance is down 1.4 percent.

Some industries have grown:

  • Manufacturing has gained 1,100 jobs, an increase of 13 percent;
  • Professional and business services have added 1,400 jobs, an 8.4-percent growth, though of its 1,500 new jobs over this ten-year period 1,200 had been added by 2014;
  • TWU is up by a thousand jobs, or seven percent;
  • Private education stays virtually flat with a 0.6-percent increase.

The health care sector has grown its employment by eight percent since 2009, but almost all of that increase took place in 2009-2013. We see a similar trend in Leisure and Hospitality: the 3,200 new jobs created since 2009 represents a 9.6-percent increase, but 2,400 of those jobs were created between 2009 and 2014. 

The only industry category with a consistently strong growth in jobs is Other Services, which consists of everything that does not fit under any other label. In 2009 it counted 13,800 employees; by 2019 it had grown by 24 percent to 17,100. At mid-point, 2014, it had added 1,800 of its total gain of 3,300.

It is great to see at least one industry doing consistently well. If our lawmakers would refrain from raising taxes and start working on a plan to structurally and permanently reduce government, we would see more of this.

3 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Does someone have a plan to:

    1. Reduce public sector spending.
    2. Kill al tax bills in the House and Senate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Check out this article: https://polecon.thewyomingprosperityproject.com/2019/12/seven-ideas-for-spending-reform.html

      Delete

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