As Population Ages, Wyoming Could Face ‘Serious Labor Shortage’
Wyoming's population continues to age and, if current trends endure, the state could face a "serious labor shortage."
That's according to a report released Thursday by the state's economic analysis division.
Between July 2017 and July 2018, Wyoming's elderly population — residents age 65 and older — grew by 3.9 percent. The median age also increased from 38 to 38.2 years old.
That's one of the fastest rates of growth in the US, according to the report. Factors that set Wyoming apart include the state's large baby boomer population, but neighboring states are competing for Wyoming's young workers.
States like Colorado, Idaho and Utah continue to show strong economic growth and are drawing Wyoming's workers away from the state.
Whenever more people are leaving Wyoming than moving to the Cowboy State, population aging increases. The state's total population decreased by 3,100 during the report's timeframe.
And while Wyoming's population has increased by 2.5 percent since 2010, the youth population continues to shrink. There are 10.7% fewer preschool-aged children living in the state than in 2010.
Like the rest of the nation, Wyoming's population is becoming more diversified. The state's minority population reached 93,484 in July 2018, representing an 18.1 percent growth.
Hispanics represent the largest minority in the state with a total population of 58,227.