Governor Steve Bullock today announced Montana’s unemployment rate remained at 3.9% in July. The U.S. unemployment rate declined by 0.1 percentage point to 4.3% after a slight uptick last month.
“Montana is experiencing steady economic growth, benefitting businesses and workers alike,” said Governor Bullock. “More Montanans are at work than ever before in our state’s history, wages are increasing, and manufacturing is growing at twice the national average. We’re growing some of the best wheat in the world, producing cutting-edge optics technologies, making the best waders, fly-rods, and drift boats money can buy.”
Total employment increased by roughly 5,200 jobs in July on an unadjusted basis. However, that level of hiring is expected during July, leaving the seasonally adjusted total employment level roughly even from last month. Total employment includes the self-employed, agricultural workers, and payroll employment. Payroll employment estimates indicate a loss of 700 jobs over the month, but an increase of 5,200 jobs since July 2016. The payroll job losses were primarily in the healthcare industry, where employment growth may have been affected by policy uncertainty at the federal level.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.1% in July. The energy index posted a small decline, while most other goods increased prices slightly. Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U has increased by 1.7%. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, increased 0.1% in July.