- Associated Press - Friday, May 13, 2016

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) - Wyoming Machinery Company is laying off a number of employees due to the downturn in the state’s energy sector.

The Casper Star-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1XoQbKe ) that the heavy equipment maker announced Thursday that it had laid off about 6 percent of its workforce. The layoffs affect workers in Casper and Gillette.

Thursday’s layoffs follow the company offering early retirement packages to many employees earlier this year.

A Wyoming Machinery spokesman declined to comment beyond confirming the layoffs.

As the energy sector struggles, Wyoming has seen a steady rise in unemployment, which reached 5.2 percent in March - the highest it’s been since 2012. That figure is expected to grow as coal mining layoffs and industry cuts are factored into the rate.

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Information from: Casper (Wyo.) Star-Tribune, http://www.trib.com

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