Report: Casper Economic Health on the Rise, Still Lower than Pre-COVID
The Casper Economic Analysis Division released a report indicating that Wyoming’s economic health is slowly on the rise, especially since its historic low of 95.9 in July, but the index is still far below what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the Casper Economic Health Index (CaEHI), Wyoming has an index value of 97.7, as of September 2020.
This is slightly higher than the 97.4 value in August of this year, but it is still significantly lower than what it was in September 2019, when it had a value of 104.3. In the economic health index, 100 is considered the mean.
The unemployment rate for Natrona County was 8.7%, which continues a 5-month decrease, but it is still higher than the state-wide average of 5.5% and it's over two times higher than the average in September of 2019 (3.7%).
The total number of nonfarm payroll jobs as of September 2020 was 36,200, lower than the August 2020 number of 36,100, while also 3,400 less than the September 2019 average.
Natrona County's collection of the 4% sales and use tax through the first nine months of 2020 (January-September) was up 1.0% compared to the 5-year average over this same time period.
Similarly, housing prices in Natrona County continued to rise, with a median sales price (around $229,950) that is 5.5% higher than it was a year ago. 21 of the last 25 months have recorded year-over-year increases in median home prices and the CaEHI reports that "housing prices appear to be one of the only economic variables that are not negatively impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic."