— The real estate bust has put a strain on Wyoming’s economy.
Real estate prices fell by about 3 percent in the first six months of the year, the biggest annual drop in decades, according to the Wyoming Department of Revenue.
Many businesses and people have been laid off or moved to other states, making Wyoming a hotbed for unemployment.
And the state’s economy has been on the decline for years.
But the bust has hit the realtors and real estate agents hardest, causing many to pull back and lay off workers, while many more keep their jobs.
“I’ve had to make tough decisions, and it’s a tough adjustment for me,” said Mark Dyer, a real estate agent with The Broker Group.
“The downturn has put an incredible strain on my family, our businesses, our community and our business,” he said.
“My wife and kids are struggling to make ends meet and our mortgage payments have been cut.”
Dyer said he had to hire two people to take care of the house he built in Wyoming with his wife, who has been with him for 23 years.
The home is worth $1.8 million, and the family’s monthly mortgage payment is about $350.
“We’re trying to keep our house afloat, and I think our family will be better off financially,” Dyer added.
The state’s unemployment rate is about 10 percent.
Many realtivists and brokers are hoping that the downturn will be temporary.
“It’s the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” said Gary G. Johnson, owner of Real Estate Management Group in Wyoming.
“Real estate is going through a very serious crisis, and they have no choice but to step up to the plate and help the economy.”
The Real Estate Board of Wyoming says that while there have been signs of recovery, the state is still far from recovery.
The unemployment rate among people aged 15 to 24 for July was 9.4 percent.
That was the highest since December 2000.
In the state, the unemployment rate was 5.9 percent in August and 7.6 percent in September.
The realtionalys unemployment rate for women was 2.5 percent, which is lower than the national rate of 4.2 percent.
“Our unemployment rate has been above 5 percent for a number of years now,” said Dyer.
“People are being forced out of the state because they can’t get jobs.
And when you have that kind of joblessness, you’re looking at losing your house.”
Wyoming has seen the biggest increase in unemployment since the 1930s.
The number of people seeking work increased to 8.2 million in the month of July, up by 1.3 million from June.
Job growth in Wyoming slowed in August.
The last time the unemployment was higher than it is now was in February 2016, when the unemployment number was 11.2%.
The unemployment for people with disabilities, those who are in the military, people with some type of mental illness, and those who have a disability are up a little, but the unemployment is still higher than other states.
Many workers in Wyoming are also still looking for work.
“When you have a large number of unemployed people, you have some very low-wage jobs, like retail, restaurant, hospitality, cleaning, etc.,” said Denny Kudzu, a Wyoming-based real estate broker.
“And so, it’s kind of like a race against the clock for those people.”
In addition to the economic downturn, the realty market in the state has been hit by a wave of bad weather.
The average temperature for July in Wyoming was 26.4 degrees.
The snowfall totals in the metro area were a record low, at 1.2 inches, in some areas.
In some parts of the metro, it even dipped below zero.
“If it gets to that level, I think we’re going to see a major downturn in our real estate markets,” said Paul M. Burt, the Wyoming real estate board president.
“That’s why we need to make a lot of changes and get our house in order.”