The energy downturn is affecting the state of Wyoming in a way it didn’t see coming…..an outward migration of people. In short, more people are leaving the state than are coming to make a home there and State leaders put the blame on the loss of thousands of jobs in the energy sector.
Economists also say they don’t see it reversing until there is a reversal of fortune in the oil and gas industry.
As the Associated Press pointed out, thousands of energy workers who were laid off left Wyoming to find work elsewhere. Between July 2013 and July 2014, nearly 2,200 more people left the state than moved into Wyoming. Between the summer of 2014 and the summer of 2015, the state lost another 1,200 people.
Economists explained that previous gains were slashed as oil and gas employment dropped in late 2015 as oil and gas prices fell too. Mining earnings fell by $112 million or 3.4 percent compared to the third quarter. Farm earnings tumbled too, falling by $96 million or 2.6 percent.
The migration of people out of Wyoming comes after 12 years of population growth. Wyoming’s population increased by 10,000 from 2006 to 2008 mostly because of an expansion of oil production.