The Consensus Revenue Estimating Group (CREG) recently published a report forecasting revenue for 2020-2024. While Wyoming is facing leaner times, the state performed better this year than initially predicted for the 2019 fiscal year.
The state will be experiencing fundamental changes in the coming years due to changes in the oil and gas industry. Governor Mark Gordon explained, "Wyoming is accustomed to boom/bust cycles - what economists like to call 'market cycles'... I believe we may be experiencing a more fundamental change that will affect how well we can fund government services going forward."
Senate Appropriations Chairman Eli Bebout shared,"Wyoming cannot continue to rely on traditional sources of income for our revenue stream. Minerals are so volatile, and the future is not as good as it could be. Interest income is volatile as well. And yet, we continue to spend. So there's really a shift going on that we haven't seen before in all the years I've been doing this."
The report revealed Wyoming is spending more money than it is making; however, workforce development and the expansion of the military have the potential to continue to stimulate the economy and promote growth in the coming years. When the State was having a downturn in 2015, Cheyenne grew. The Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce had the foresight to handle the energy economic downturn with advocating for FE Warren's mission expansion which resulted in a net growth for Laramie County. This has allowed the community to not detract but expand.
"In 2015, we worked to have an increase in airmen at FE Warren Air Force Base because we saw an anticipated decrease in energy on the horizon. We were successful in getting 600, which was more jobs than what was lost from the energy downturn. Through our governmental affairs work and economic development initiatives, we are able to combat challenges - but we must remain proactive. Now we need to address housing." expressed President/CEO, Dale Steenbergen.
Projected for Wyoming is a changing economy and communities need to be prepared for such circumstances. Policy makers, along with economic agencies, such as the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce, have a current mission to get prepared. To be outfitted for success we encourage our businesses to stay engaged and active in the process. Join the Chamber's Wyoming Business Advocates committee and help advocate for this change locally and federally.
In result of these changes, the Chamber is hosting a luncheon on Friday, November 8th featuring a panel of experts from the oil and gas industry. Registration is open now!
Additionally, the Chamber published a housing report and held an economic forecast event to prepare the business community. We are taking a proactive role in getting the greater Cheyenne area and Wyoming ready for what is on the horizon.