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Montana’s Unemployment Rate Drops Again to 4.1 Percent

Tuesday, April 21, 2015/Categories: Department of Labor and Industry, Workforce Services Division, Unemployment Insurance Division, Governor's Office/Tags: Unemployment Rate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                April 21, 2015
 

CONTACT:
Mike Wessler, Governor’s Office, 444-9725

Annie Glover, Communications Director, Department of Labor & Industry, 444-1654

Barbara Wagner, Chief Economist, Department of Labor & Industry, 444-5474

 

Montana’s Unemployment Rate Drops Again to 4.1 Percent

HELENA – Montana’s unemployment rate dropped 0.2 percentage points in March, down to 4.1 percent.  Montana’s unemployment rate has not been this low since October 2007.  The U.S. unemployment rate was flat over the month at 5.5 percent in March.

“Montana’s economy is off to a strong start in 2015, with nearly 9,000 jobs added in the first quarter,” Governor Steve Bullock said.  “Montana businesses and workers are on the right track to building a stronger economy, and I’m committed to building on this success for our state.”

“We are expecting strong wage growth in 2015 as Montana businesses increase wages to recruit workers in this low unemployment environment,” said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy.  “The Montana Department of Labor and Industry is continuing our work to reach out to under-utilized workers, recruit them into the labor market, and ensure that our workers are meeting the needs of Montana employers.”

Montana’s total employment levels surged up by 2,725 jobs in March, for a total of 8,873 jobs added in the first quarter of 2015.  Total employment estimates include payroll employment, plus agricultural and self-employed workers.  Payroll employment estimates indicate a loss of 500 jobs over the month, but indicated strong job gains last month and continue to show strong upwards job increases over the last quarter.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in March, with increases in energy prices offset by declines in food prices.  Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U has declined 0.1 percent, largely due to lower energy prices compared to last year.  Prices for both airline fares and groceries declined in March, suggesting that producers of energy-dependent goods are passing on the savings from lower fuel and transportation input costs to consumers.  The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, rose 0.2 percent in March.

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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 nonseasonal patterns easier to identify. The margin of error for the unemployment rate is plus or minus 0.5 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 and Industry’s Research and Analysis Bureau at 1-800-541-3904.

 

The next Labor Situation Report for the month of April 2015 will be released on Wednesday, May 27, 2015. 

 

****** 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 annual employment data for Montana’s Indian Reservations.  This month’s Economy at a Glance includes information on who is more likely to be the primary wage earners in Montana’s households – males or females.

 

****** 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 4.7 percent. 

 

   

Unemployment Rate

Employment

Rank

County

Current Unemployment

Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Fallon County

2.4

-0.2

2,125

150

2

McCone County

2.7

-0.7

1,098

106

3

Powder River County

2.8

-1.3

1,024

95

4

Sheridan County

3

-0.5

2,056

25

4

Wibaux County

3

-1

546

44

6

Richland County

3.1

0.1

7,460

394

7

Dawson County

3.2

0

4,940

219

8

Gallatin County

3.3

-0.8

55,988

2,235

8

Liberty County

3.3

-1.3

955

105

8

Sweet Grass County

3.3

-1.3

1,723

113

11

Chouteau County

3.4

-0.7

2,519

158

11

Daniels County

3.4

-0.2

929

34

11

Garfield County

3.4

0

720

76

14

Valley County

3.6

-0.5

4,317

249

14

Yellowstone County

3.6

-0.8

78,317

1,708

16

Madison County

3.7

-1.7

4,567

150

16

Meagher County

3.7

-1.5

920

60

18

Custer County

3.8

-0.1

6,422

-32

18

Lewis and Clark County

3.8

-0.7

34,445

396

18

Stillwater County

3.8

-0.6

4,897

67

18

Toole County

3.8

0.1

2,273

34

22

Carbon County

3.9

-0.9

5,306

191

23

Beaverhead County

4.2

-0.5

4,664

167

23

Judith Basin County

4.2

-1.5

918

70

23

Prairie County

4.2

-1.4

503

29

26

Carter County

4.3

-0.4

643

49

27

Deer Lodge County

4.4

-1.1

5,125

115

27

Jefferson County

4.4

-1.2

5,474

112

27

Musselshell County

4.4

-0.5

2,362

93

27

Teton County

4.4

-0.7

2,807

142

31

Cascade County

4.5

-0.7

36,441

-486

31

Missoula County

4.5

-1

59,169

1,836

31

Treasure County

4.5

-0.5

337

30

34

Golden Valley County

4.7

-0.8

385

24

35

Hill County

4.8

-1.8

7,462

57

35

Silver Bow County

4.8

-1.1

16,351

62

37

Pondera County

5.3

-0.6

2,750

171

37

Powell County

5.3

-1.7

2,775

62

39

Fergus County

5.4

-0.3

5,463

108

40

Park County

5.5

-1.4

7,444

234

41

Lake County

5.6

-1.5

11,911

260

41

Rosebud County

5.6

-0.8

3,940

71

41

Wheatland County

5.6

-1.9

740

60

44

Roosevelt County

5.8

-0.3

4,627

32

45

Blaine County

6

-1.2

2,279

41

45

Broadwater County

6

-1.1

2,390

65

45

Ravalli County

6

-1.4

18,047

577

48

Flathead County

6.8

-1.1

40,685

474

49

Phillips County

6.9

-0.3

1,878

104

50

Granite County

7.1

-1.5

1,506

164

51

Big Horn County

7.8

-4.2

5,060

203

52

Petroleum County

7.9

2.8

290

31

53

Mineral County

9.5

-1

1,578

-3

54

Sanders County

10

-2.2

4,225

150

55

Glacier County

10.5

-0.2

4,923

-293

56

Lincoln County

12.1

-1.7

7,032

174

 

 

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