Montana’s Unemployment Rate Hits 14-Year Low

Recovers Nearly All Jobs Lost Since Start of Pandemic

Governor's Office
  • September 17 2021
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HELENA, Mont. – Montana’s unemployment rate hit a 14-year low, dropping to 3.5% in August. The national unemployment rate for August is 5.2%. 

“With Montana open for business and more Montanans returning to good-paying jobs, our economic and jobs recovery continues at a strong pace,” Governor Greg Gianforte said. “Montana is a leader in our nation’s economic comeback, with our state’s unemployment rate at its lowest level in 14 years.”

Montana’s unemployment rate of 3.5% in August is the state’s lowest since July 2007 when it was also 3.5%.

In August, 521,408 Montanans were employed, recovering nearly 100% of the jobs lost since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The state’s total employment, which includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers, grew by 1,505 in August. Since January 2021, Montana’s total employment has grown by more than 9,700.

Payroll jobs posted an increase of 600 jobs since June. In the last two summer months, private employment increased substantially, but government jobs have declined.

The rate of inflation moderated in August with the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increasing by 0.3% over the month in August. The over-the-year price increase was 5.3%, slightly lower than last month. Price increases continue to be driven primarily by high prices for used cars and trucks and energy commodities. The index for all items less food and energy, referred to as core inflation, increased 0.1% in August.

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** Unemployment figures are seasonally-adjusted. Seasonally-adjusted numbers remove the effects of events that follow a more or less regular month-to-month pattern each year. These adjustments make non-seasonal patterns easier to identify. The margin of error for the unemployment rate is plus or minus 0.6 percentage points at the 90 percent confidence level. All questions relating to the calculation of unemployment rates should be directed to the Montana Department of Labor & Industry’s Research and Analysis Bureau at 406-444-4100.

The next Labor Situation Report for the month of August will be released on Friday, October 22nd.

 

**** INFORMATION AVAILABLE ON THE INTERNET ****

Visit our website at www.lmi.mt.gov for additional information and analysis, including industry employment levels, background on the unemployment rate, and wage rates by occupation. Visit www.lmi.mt.gov/home/job-tracking for Montana unemployment claims and economic data on the current recession.

 

****** COUNTY UNEMPLOYMENT RATES ******

The unemployment rate and ranking for each of Montana’s 56 counties is provided below for your convenience. County unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted and should be compared to the unadjusted statewide unemployment rate of 2.9%.

 

Unemployment Rate

Employment

Rank

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

McCone

1.9

-1.9

916

12

2

Powell

2.0

-1.3

2,960

-7

3

Sweet Grass

2.0

-0.9

1,881

48

4

Gallatin

2.0

-2.2

72,410

2,850

5

Daniels

2.1

0

855

-18

6

Meagher

2.1

-2

897

6

7

Powder River

2.2

0.5

920

-39

8

Beaverhead

2.3

-1.1

4,993

81

9

Fallon

2.3

-2.1

1,600

-33

10

Liberty

2.3

0.2

918

-9

11

Toole

2.3

-2.9

2,034

-41

12

Chouteau

2.4

-1.2

2,333

17

13

Petroleum

2.4

-0.3

244

-4

14

Carter

2.5

-0.7

620

8

15

Fergus

2.5

-0.8

5,658

-45

16

Garfield

2.5

0.8

673

-26

17

Lewis and Clark

2.5

-2

36,732

1,005

18

Stillwater

2.5

-2.6

5,384

329

19

Custer

2.6

-1.7

6,075

131

20

Madison

2.6

-1.2

4,130

-149

21

Valley

2.6

-1.3

3,996

48

22

Dawson

2.7

-3.7

4,332

-164

23

Judith Basin

2.7

-2.6

841

-6

24

Park

2.7

-3

9,195

342

25

Sheridan

2.7

-1.8

1,674

-5

26

Deer Lodge

2.8

-1.4

5,080

161

27

Teton

2.8

-0.7

2,657

-24

28

Yellowstone

2.8

-2.2

81,292

859

29

Missoula

2.8

-2.9

62,377

1,848

30

Broadwater

2.9

-2.6

2,632

103

31

Jefferson

2.9

-1.5

5,780

142

32

Ravalli

2.9

-2

20,671

809

33

Carbon

3.0

-2.2

5,372

48

34

Cascade

3.0

-2.5

35,929

311

35

Golden Valley

3.1

-0.2

349

2

36

Hill

3.1

-1.9

7,222

-29

37

Pondera

3.1

-2.3

2,526

-2

38

Silver Bow

3.1

-3.2

17,061

421

39

Flathead

3.1

-3

50,812

3,059

40

Wibaux

3.2

-1.3

426

-21

41

Lake

3.3

-2.5

13,438

440

42

Phillips

3.3

-1.1

1,754

-13

43

Treasure

3.3

-0.6

325

3

44

Granite

3.4

-2.7

1,554

33

45

Prairie

3.4

-4.4

457

19

46

Richland

3.6

-4

5,665

143

47

Blaine

3.7

-0.7

2,121

-48

48

Musselshell

3.7

-1.8

2,183

16

49

Sanders

3.8

-2.4

5,047

176

50

Rosebud

4.0

-1

3,370

-121

51

Roosevelt

4.1

-2.1

4,087

-31

52

Mineral

4.3

-2.7

1,800

48

53

Wheatland

4.3

-2

687

-2

54

Lincoln

4.6

-3.2

7,886

262

55

Glacier

6.6

-4.2

5,141

74

56

Big Horn

6.7

0

4,312

-192

 

****** RESERVATION UNEMPLOYMENT RATES ******

The unemployment rate and ranking for each of Montana’s seven reservations is provided below. Reservation unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted and should be compared to the unadjusted statewide unemployment rate of 2.9%. Reservation areas overlap with county areas, meaning that unemployed individuals living on a reservation will be included in both the reservation and county totals.  

 

Unemployment Rate

Employment

Rank

Area

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Flathead

3.5

-2.6

13,185

434

2

Fort Peck

5.1

-2.6

3,698

-20

3

Fort Belknap

8.4

-1.7

698

-15

4

Blackfeet

9.1

-5.7

3,633

49

5

Rocky Boy's

9.3

-5

1,038

-1

6

Crow

10.0

-0.2

2,218

-86

7

Northern Cheyenne

10.3

-1.7

1,186

-46

 

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