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Wyoming reports record month for sales and use tax collections of $86.6M; adds ~900 oil and gas jobs

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming experienced a new monthly record in terms of sales and use tax collections, with a total of $86.6 million collected in August, the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division said Monday.

Sales and use tax collections from the mining sector, which includes oil and gas, has seen month-over-month increases for 12 months in a row, the Economic Analysis Division said in its Aug. 2022 issue of the “Wyoming Insight.” In August, mining-sector sales and use tax collections were up $5.1 million compared with Aug. 2021.

In August, the West Texas Intermediate average price of crude oil was $93.67 per barrel, the first time the average price has been below $100 per barrel in the last six months, the Economic Analysis Division said. The Opal Hub average price for natural gas was $8.25 per million British thermal units, and the Henry Hub natural gas price averaged $8.79 per million British thermal units. Natural gas prices at both hubs were up compared with July.

In August, there were 18 active oil rigs and five active natural gas rigs, according to the report. Wyoming oil and gas jobs totaled around 8,600 in July, an increase of about 900 jobs compared with July 2021. Oil and gas jobs still lag behind the roughly 12,000 jobs that existed ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020.

While the mining sector contributed to the record sales and use tax collections seen in August, the construction, wholesale trade and financial activities sector saw year-over-year sales tax collection growth of nearly 50%, according to the Economic Analysis Division.

21 out of 23 counties saw collections of the 4% statewide sales and use tax increase in Aug. 2022 compared with Aug. 2021, led by a 101.2% increase in Converse County, a 57.7% increase in Sublette County and a 52.1% increase in Campbell County, the report showed. In Natrona County, collections of the 4% statewide sales and use tax were up 14.6% compared with August 2021.

While sales and use tax collections are up and Wyoming added 6,400 jobs in July compared to July 2021, total employment in Wyoming was down about 5,600 jobs compared with February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in Wyoming.

“Relative to February 2020 (before the pandemic hit the labor market in March 2020), total employment has still not fully recovered, primarily due to slow recovery in the mining industry” Dylan Bainer, principal economist for the Wyoming Economic Analysis Division, said.

The 6,400 more jobs in July 2022 compared with July 2021 was driven by 1,700 more construction industry jobs compared with July 2021. The mining sector’s addition of about 900 jobs was the second largest increase.

Further details are available in the full Wyoming Insight: August 2022.

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