April 14, 2016
Mention the words “oil economy,” and what might come to mind are areas including Houston, Oklahoma and Louisiana. However, energy-reliant towns in Wyoming are also being impacted by falling oil prices and coal-industry bankruptcies.
Officials estimate that Wyoming energy companies have cut 5,500 jobs. While this might not seem a lot, it’s a large number in a state with a population of 580,000. Oil and gas make up 70% to 80% of Wyoming’s revenue.
The state’s unemployment rate has climbed by 1.2% over the past year, higher than any other state. Though the unemployment rate is in line with the national number, there are fears that layoffs are leading to recession, especially in rural areas that are economically dependent on oil and gas.