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SHERIDAN — The state’s quarterly economic summary indicates a decisive recovery in natural gas prices, but coal and tourism took significant hits in the last quarter of 2013.
The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services Economic Analysis Division released new figures late last week that suggest though the mineral extraction industry lost jobs, the state’s overall economy is getting stronger.
The report indicates natural gas prices were 35 percent higher last year than they were in 2012, leading to an active drilling market in the Powder River Basin. On the other side of the state, tourism in Yellowstone National Park was down 62 percent, largely because of the partial shutdown of the federal government last fall.
The industries in the state that saw the most growth were financial activities and wholesale trade.
On a national front, the expiration of the emergency unemployment insurance employment program coupled with harsh winter weather have hindered any potential economic rebound.
However, previously discouraged workers have rejoined the job market and short-term unemployment rates have fallen. The U.S. Gross Domestic Product is expected to grow to nearly 3 precent through 2014.
According to a recent press release from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, Wyomingite average $50,924 annually, the seventh highest per capita income in the nation. The national per person average income is $44,543.