Wyoming Saw More in Taxes and Jobs in June as Inflation Continues to Rise
According to a recent report by the Wyoming Department of Administration and Information (WDAI) on Wyoming's economy, the state collected more in taxes in June 2022 but still hasn't gotten employment back to pre-pandemic levels.
Compared to last June, year-over-year sales and use tax collections statewide increased by $9.6 million, or 16.2%, with 18 of 23 counties seeing increases in collections.
Campbell and Converse County saw the largest increases in collections, up $3.4 million, or 46%, and $2 million, or 71.1%, respectively, and according to the WDAI, the increase was mostly due to boosts in mining activity.
However, according to the report, a large amount of the increase in collections can be attributed to inflation, which has increased to 9.1% for the month of June.
The report by the WDAI includes the cost of living data up until the fourth quarter of 2021, and it shows that at that point Wyoming was already dealing with an increase of 9.3% compared to the previous year.
In response to the increase in inflation, Wyoming Senator John Barrasso put out a statement blaming President Joe Biden and Democrats for the increase.
"The price of groceries, gas, rent, and utilities are skyrocketing. All while paychecks aren’t keeping up. The economic sirens are blaring and economists are warning of looming recession. But Joe Biden is covering his ears and turning his back on the American people...Working families in Wyoming cannot afford to pay the huge price of President Biden’s failed economic agenda. Now is not the time for more reckless government spending and tax hikes."
Taxes from the mining industry are down 20% compared to June 2019, but up 74.2% compared to June 2021, while the retail trade industry saw a $3.6 million increase year-over-year.
Meanwhile, the information and the public administration sectors were the only two that saw a decrease this June compared to last year at 9.7% and 12.5% respectively.
The average active oil rig count in June was 17, while the conventional gas rig count was three, both of which are approaching pre-pandemic levels.
In April of 2020, oil and gas jobs in the state numbered nearly 12,000, and while the numbers have been increasing, they are still below the pre-pandemic levels at 8,100 in May 2022, up 800 from May 2021.
Employment as a whole has also still not come back up to pre-pandemic levels, as compared to February 2020, total employment in May 2022 was down 7,100 jobs.
On the housing side, there was an extra 146 single-family housing units permitted through the end of May 2022 compared to May 2021, 973 compared to 827, however for multifamily units, 121 permits have been issued compared to 120 at the same point in 2021.