FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 31, 2015
Mike Wessler, Deputy Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444.9725
Jake Troyer, Communications Director, Department of Labor & Industry, 444.1674
HELENA, MT-With Labor Day approaching, Governor Steve Bullock, Lt. Gov. Angela McLean, and Commissioner Pam Bucy presented the 2015 Labor Day Report to Montana’s workers. This year’s report emphasizes that the state’s economy continues to grow and is positioned to improve over the coming year.
“Montana’s economy is strong and getting stronger every day,” said Bullock. “Workers are on the job at Main Street Montana businesses and earning higher wages. Through innovative partnerships, we are equipping the next generation of Montanans with the knowledge, skills, and experience that will give them—and our state—an advantage for years to come.”
Key highlights from the report include:
- Montana’s total employment levels are over half a million jobs for the first time in the state’s history.
- Montana is #6 in the nation for wage growth over the last five years, increasing 3.5 percent over the last year.
- Montana's unemployment rate is at ideal levels and continues to outpace the national average at 4.0 percent.
- Montana’s personal income growth continues to be faster than the national average.
- Montana’s GDP expanded by 4.5 percent in 2014
“Our children have more career opportunities than any previous generation of Montanans,” said Bucy. “I am proud of our work to support working families and grow prosperity for all Montana communities.”
The report also addresses the areas of our workforce that need ongoing attention. The most prominent of these areas is a potential upcoming workforce shortage due to retirements of Montana’s aging employees. The report details how potential workforce shortages are being addressed through partnerships between the Department of Labor & Industry, two year and tribal colleges, and the Montana University System.
The report concludes, “With actions designed to improve training, hiring, and retention practices, Montana will meet these upcoming challenges and continue to outperform the nation and other states in our economic growth.”
The Labor Day Report is presented annually by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry and provides a detailed look at our state’s economy as measured by key indicators important specifically to Montana’s workforce, such as unemployment and personal income growth.
The 2015 Labor Day Report is available online at http://lmi.mt.gov/media/98012/ldr-15.pdf