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Governor Bullock Presents 2018 Labor Day Report

Bullock highlights low unemployment, rising wages, strong entrepreneurial climate, and workforce development initiatives key to growing Montana’s economy

Tuesday, September 4, 2018/Categories: Governor's Office/Tags:

Governor Steve Bullock, along with Lt. Governor Mike Cooney and Montana Department of Labor & Industry Commissioner Galen Hollenbaugh, today presented the 2018 Labor Day Report to Montanans.

“Unemployment remains low, wages are growing, Montana entrepreneurs are more likely to be successful than businesses nationally, and we’re seeing growth in diverse industries,” said Governor Bullock. “As we celebrate the working men and women of Montana, let’s make a commitment to continue engaging in ways we can build a more diverse workforce, expand opportunities for Montana families, and fuel economic growth in all of our communities.”

The Labor Day Report is compiled annually by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry and provides a detailed examination at the economic performance of the state as measured by key growth indicators such as such as employment growth, income growth, and workforce training and development.

The 2018 Labor Day Report highlights strengths of Montana’s growing economy, including:

  • Montana entrepreneurs are among the most successful in the nation at starting and developing new businesses, and in the last year, over 2,940 new establishments were formed by Montana entrepreneurs;
  • Real wages increased for Montana families with Montana posting the 4th fastest wage growth among states from 2007-2017;
  • Over the last ten years, Montana’s per capita income has grown rapidly – the 10th fastest increase among states;
  • Real GDP growth over the 2007 to 2017 timeframe outpaced the nation, adding an average of roughly 1.3% (or $522 million) per year to real GDP. Montana’s total nominal GDP in 2017 was $48 billion;
  • Over the last five years, registered apprenticeships have increased by over 30%. There are 1,820 active apprentices today and 21 different apprenticeable occupations in healthcare alone.

“We’ve seen first-hand how the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program provides a pathway to in-demand jobs that pay well,” Commissioner Galen Hollenbaugh said. “Through industry-driven partnerships across Montana, we’re providing workers with the skills and experience they need to thrive.”

The 2018 Labor Day Report was presented at Blackfoot River Brewing Company, where the brewery announced the state’s first-ever Montana Registered Apprenticeship program in brewing. By connecting with the Montana Department of Labor & Industry’s Registered Apprenticeship program, the brewery is offering its workers a new pathway to becoming a professional brewer. An apprentice will receive two to three years of hands-on learning in the brewery and complete approximately 140 hours of online courses through the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. At the end of the program, apprentices will receive a certified national credential.

Governor Bullock and Commissioner Hollenbaugh shared the state’s workforce training and development initiatives to equip students and workers with new skills and ensure businesses have a talented and trained workforce.

Governor Bullock discussed growing apprenticeship opportunities in diverse occupations, the “One-Two-Free” initiative to increase access to dual enrollment, and the expansion of preschool access to provide affordable childcare options for Montana families. Governor Bullock also emphasized state and national workforce development efforts through the Future Ready MT Cabinet and his National Governors Association chair’s initiative, Good Jobs for All Americans.

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