The Denver Post - - BUSINESS - By Bob Moen

cheyenne» The down­turn in Wy­oming’s mining and oil and gas in­dus­tries has caused the state to ex­pe­ri­ence its first pop­u­la­tion de­cline since 1990, but there are signs the state’s econ­omy has bot­tomed out and sta­bi­lized, economists said af­ter this week’s release of a na­tional pop­u­la­tion re­port.

The U.S. Cen­sus Bureau es­ti­mated that Wy­oming’s pop­u­la­tion de­clined by 1,054 peo­ple, or 0.2 per­cent, to 585,501 from July 2015 to July.

State econ­o­mist Wen­lin Liu said the pop­u­la­tion de­cline re­flects the down­turn in key eco­nomic sec­tors that cost thou­sands of mining and re­lated jobs over about the last year.

“Peo­ple tend to move to ar­eas where economies are vi­brant, which is par­tic­u­larly true for Wy­oming,” Liu said.

State econ­o­mist Jim Robin­son said job losses in Wy­oming’s oil and gas in­dus­try ap­pear to have flat­tened out and there has been a slight in­crease in drilling ac­tiv­ity in re­cent months.

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