Wyoming's loss of jobs appears to level out

Downtown Sheridan should see more traffic as the state of Wyoming continues to grow; but that growth pales in comparison to neighboring Utah and Colorado.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) – The downturn in Wyoming's extraction industry caused the state to see its first population decline since 1990.

But state economists say there are signs that Wyoming's economy has at least stabilized.

The U.S. Census Bureau this week estimated that Wyoming's population declined by just over 1,000, or 0.2 percent, from July 2015 to July 2016.

State economist Wenlin Liu (LEW) says the population decline reflects the downturn in Wyoming's mineral extraction industry that has cost thousands of jobs over about the last year.

But state economist Jim Robinson says job losses in the oil and gas industry appear to have flattened out and there has been a slight increase in drilling activity in recent months.

Robinson says the state economy looks fairly stable now although there isn't much growth.