Montana’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.9% in February

Governor's Office
  • March 26 2021

HELENA, Mont. – Montana’s unemployment rate dropped in February to 3.9%, after falling to 4.0% in January. The unemployment rate for the U.S. was 6.2% in February.

“Montana’s unemployment rate continues its downward trend, but too many of our businesses are struggling to find workers,” Governor Greg Gianforte said. “Getting Montanans back to work in good-paying jobs and improving access to trades education and apprenticeships are top priorities as we get Montana open for business.”

Governor Gianforte has worked with the legislature to address the growing skilled labor shortage in Montana by creating the Montana Trades Education Credit (M-TEC). A central element of the governor’s Roadmap to the Montana Comeback budget, the bill, H.B. 252, provides $1 million per year in 50-percent credits to businesses for their employees to learn a trade. The funding level will support as many as 1,000 scholarships annually. Under the program, employers and employees can decide on training that is best for the business and the employee.

“Expanding trades education in Montana and empowering our workforce are critical. I look forward to this bill getting across the finish line and to my desk,” Governor Gianforte said.

Total employment in February fell by 965, and the labor force shrank by 1,521 workers. Total employment includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers. 

After updating January’s preliminary estimates, payroll employment was unchanged in February, remaining at 477,700 jobs. The manufacturing and accommodation and food services industries each added 500 jobs, which were offset by job losses in construction and financial activities.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.4% in February, driven by increases in gasoline prices and a rising energy index. Over the last 12 months the CPI-U has increased 1.7%. The index for all items less food and energy, referred to as core inflation, increased 0.1% in February.

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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 March will be released on Friday, April 16.

 

Description: ourfactsyourfuture code.png**** 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 4.9%. 

 

 

Unemployment Rate

Employment

Rank

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

McCone

2.3

-0.1

954

46

2

Daniels

2.4

-0.5

883

21

3

Liberty

2.7

-0.6

956

54

4

Carter

3.0

0.6

647

48

4

Petroleum

3.0

-0.7

262

-1

6

Garfield

3.1

-0.7

755

62

6

Golden Valley

3.1

-1.8

342

-5

6

Sweet Grass

3.1

-0.5

1,787

58

9

Gallatin

3.4

0.9

66,843

-423

9

Judith Basin

3.4

-1.4

948

30

9

Powder River

3.4

0.4

968

57

12

Toole

3.5

0.2

2,044

33

13

Meagher

3.7

-0.3

1,000

45

14

Chouteau

3.9

0.3

2,346

32

14

Powell

3.9

-0.6

2,705

-57

16

Beaverhead

4.0

0.3

4,795

-3

16

Fallon

4.0

1.7

1,559

-75

16

Hill

4.0

-0.1

7,032

-243

19

Madison

4.1

0.5

5,064

-260

19

Stillwater

4.1

0.3

5,029

-85

19

Treasure

4.1

1.7

328

5

22

Jefferson

4.2

-0.1

5,464

11

23

Yellowstone

4.4

0.6

76,274

-2,426

24

Lewis and Clark

4.5

0.7

34,390

-60

24

Teton

4.5

-0.5

2,593

7

24

Valley

4.5

0.3

3,808

-44

27

Pondera

4.7

0.9

2,543

40

28

Cascade

4.8

0.6

34,955

-1,765

28

Deer Lodge

4.8

1.0

4,663

-134

28

Fergus

4.8

0.0

5,451

-302

31

Custer

4.9

0.7

5,807

-32

31

Dawson

4.9

1.6

4,392

-6

33

Rosebud

5.0

0.0

3,377

-169

34

Wibaux

5.1

2.0

429

-8

35

Blaine

5.2

0.4

2,126

-250

35

Carbon

5.2

0.2

5,101

-144

35

Missoula

5.2

1.1

58,207

-3,384

38

Richland

5.3

2.1

5,438

-274

39

Lake

5.5

-0.3

12,506

74

39

Sheridan

5.5

2.2

1,700

34

39

Silver Bow

5.5

0.8

15,952

-438

42

Phillips

5.7

0.4

1,792

25

42

Ravalli

5.7

0.5

19,168

-49

42

Roosevelt

5.7

0.9

4,183

-62

45

Musselshell

5.8

-0.5

2,191

40

45

Prairie

5.8

0.7

442

-7

47

Broadwater

5.9

0.5

2,390

-52

48

Park

6.0

1.5

7,860

-374

49

Flathead

6.5

0.0

44,604

-132

50

Granite

6.7

-1.7

1,519

-81

51

Mineral

7.7

-3.2

1,540

-37

52

Sanders

8.0

-0.4

4,525

120

53

Wheatland

8.3

2.2

689

-39

54

Big Horn

9.1

1.8

4,420

102

55

Lincoln

9.2

-1.1

6,970

-290

56

Glacier

10.2

1.7

4,541

-440

 
 

****** 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 4.9%. 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

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Flathead

5.9

-0.2

12,240

62

2

Fort Peck

7.3

1

3,757

-54

3

Fort Belknap

12.2

1.2

701

-77

4

Rocky Boy's

12.7

0.1

1,020

-20

5

Northern Cheyenne

12.8

0.5

1,199

-28

6

Crow Indian

13.4

2.5

2,254

44

7

Blackfeet

13.9

2.2

3,236

-289

 

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