Photo: Tim Mossholder

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming’s unemployment rate has remained better than the national average, signaling a positive trajectory more than a year into the pandemic, a report said.

The state Department of Workforce Services Research & Planning Section released a March report Monday that showed the unemployment rate stayed at 5.3% from February to March after a steady run of 5.1% to 5.4% in the past six months, the Casper Star-Tribune reported.

The national unemployment rate is at 6%, the report said.

“From March 2020 to March 2021, unemployment rates decreased in 17 counties and increased in six counties,” the department said. “The largest decreases were reported in Washakie (down from 7.0% to 5.3%), Sublette (down from 9.4% to 7.7%), and Big Horn (down from 7.6% to 6.1%) counties.”

The report also showed that unemployment rates rose to 7.9% in Natrona, 6.3% in Converse and 6.6% in Campbell counties.

A February jobs report stated that 26,733 jobs were lost in the state from the second quarter of 2019 to the second quarter of 2020, department officials said. The leisure and hospitality industries lost 10,255 jobs, the mining, oil and gas industries lost more than 4,500 jobs, and local government lost more than 3,100 jobs.

However, the recently released report showed each of those industries remained steady from February to March of this year.

Currently, Weston County leads the state with the lowest unemployment rate at 4.1%, followed by Teton County at 4.2%, and Niobrara and Goshen counties at 4.3%, the report said.