Montana Surpasses Job Creation Goal in 2021

Growth of good-paying Montana jobs exceeds Governor Gianforte’s goal by 30 percent

Governor's Office
  • July 27 2022

HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today announced that Montana exceeded his goal for adding good-paying jobs to the economy in 2021, which he set at the beginning of last year.

Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) data show the state added just under 13,000 jobs paying over $50,000 in 2021, easily surpassing the governor’s goal of 10,000.

“From day one, I set an ambitious goal for job creation across Montana, and I’m pleased to announce we’ve not only met that goal, but also exceeded it by nearly 30%,” Gov. Gianforte said.

“We got there by cutting red tape and other unnecessary burdens on job creators, attracting new cutting-edge businesses to bring good-paying jobs to Montana, and investing in our workforce to ensure Montana workers have the skills they need,” the governor continued. “We’re just getting started, and we’ll stay focused on creating more good-paying jobs and greater opportunity for all Montanans.”

DLI analysis of unemployment insurance (UI) payroll records indicates the state ended the fourth quarter of 2021 with 145,462 jobs paying over $50,000 a year, a gain of 12,982 jobs from the end of 2020. Much of the good-paying job growth came in the second and fourth quarters of 2021, with gains of 5,400 jobs and 5,335 jobs, respectively.

The overall share of jobs in Montana paying over $50,000 per year also increased slightly, from 24.4% to 25.5%.

DLI’s data slightly undercount total jobs added for a variety of reasons. First, the department calculated the figures by counting worker earnings from the same employer over the past four quarters. For example, if a worker earning wages over $50,000 a year switches employers, they would drop out of the wage count until their earnings exceeded $50,000 from their new employer. Second, the data do not include the self-employed, independent contractors, and other workers that do not report into the UI system.

“Despite these strong results, better is always possible – which is why I’ve set a goal of another 10,000 new jobs paying over $50,000 a year for 2022. This will require a continued focus on fostering a climate of job creation, continuing to build our pipeline of skilled workers, and tackling issues like housing affordability that can stand in the way of new job creation. I’m confident 2022 will be another year of strong job growth for Montana workers,” Gov. Gianforte said.