Governor Steve Bullock today announced Montana’s unemployment rate is at 3.8%. The U.S. unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage points to 4.5% in March.
“More Montanans are at work than ever before in our state’s history and 4,500 more of friends, families, and neighbors joined the workforce this first quarter,” said Governor Bullock. “Montana’s economy is strong and continues to grow and expand as we continue to find ways to ensure Montana businesses have a steady pipeline of trained and skilled employees.”
Payroll employment in Montana surged during the first quarter of 2017, increasing by nearly 4,800 jobs over the 4th quarter of 2016 on a seasonally adjusted basis. Industries with the largest gains include construction, professional and business services, and healthcare. Total employment levels, which include self-employed and agricultural workers, indicated a statistically insignificant decline of 278 jobs over the month. The number of unemployed people and the labor force also declined, leading to a reduction in the unemployment rate.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.3% in March, with large declines in gasoline and wireless telephone services. Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U has increased by 2.4%. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, posted a rare decline of 0.1% in March. The March decline in core inflation is the first decline since January 2010.