Montana’s Unemployment Rate Remains Steady at 3.4% in December

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MONTANA – Montana’s unemployment rate remained at 3.4% in December, with 1,200 jobs added over the month. The U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.5%.

“I am optimistic as we begin a new decade with a strong economy and growing wages that benefit workers, businesses, and communities,” Governor Bullock said. “More Montanans are working than ever before, and we’re continuing efforts to build a skilled and talented workforce with opportunities to pursue meaningful careers.”

Total employment, which includes agricultural, payroll, and self-employed workers, grew by 1,200 jobs in December with similar growth in the labor force of 1,400 workers. Payroll employment indicated relatively flat employment levels.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.2% in December, with increases in gasoline, shelter, and medical care. The gasoline index increased by 2.8% over the month. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, rose by 0.1%. Core inflation rose 2.3% over the last twelve months.

** 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 non-seasonal 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 & Industry’s Research and Analysis Bureau at (406) 444-4100.

Due to the annual process to benchmark and revision to the prior year’s labor market estimates, the next Labor Situation Report for the month of January 2020 will be released on Monday, March 16, with the estimate for February released on Friday, March 27. March estimates will be released on the third Friday in April (April 17), consistent with the typical schedule.

**** 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 wage rates by occupation. 

****** 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 3.6%.  

 

Unemployment Rate

Employment

Rank

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Carter

1.9

-0.3

684

28

2

McCone

2.1

0.0

971

17

3

Fallon

2.3

0.0

1,633

-10

3

Liberty

2.3

-0.5

989

36

3

Treasure

2.3

-0.4

341

12

6

Gallatin

2.4

-0.3

67,329

2,937

6

Powder River

2.4

-0.7

921

10

8

Richland

2.5

-0.1

5,626

-96

9

Daniels

2.6

0.0

866

15

9

Sheridan

2.6

-0.4

1,672

-23

11

Dawson

2.7

-0.2

4,523

36

12

Sweet Grass

2.9

0.0

1,742

41

12

Toole

2.9

0.4

2,038

12

12

Wibaux

2.9

-1.1

431

-4

15

Lewis and Clark

3.0

-0.4

34,596

494

16

Chouteau

3.1

-0.3

2,497

85

16

Custer

3.1

-0.2

5,780

-4

16

Yellowstone

3.1

-0.3

78,654

717

19

Pondera

3.2

-1.1

2,622

22

20

Beaverhead

3.3

-0.3

4,909

127

20

Deer Lodge

3.3

-0.4

4,880

35

20

Meagher

3.3

-0.3

1,016

65

20

Stillwater

3.3

-0.4

4,929

139

20

Valley

3.3

0.0

3,878

-13

25

Cascade

3.4

-0.3

36,992

530

25

Hill

3.4

-0.3

7,304

45

25

Madison

3.4

-0.2

4,853

145

25

Prairie

3.4

0.3

477

12

29

Garfield

3.5

0.4

747

29

29

Golden Valley

3.5

-1.4

358

8

29

Judith Basin

3.5

-0.6

947

24

29

Missoula

3.5

-0.2

62,544

1,670

29

Powell

3.5

-0.7

2,810

60

34

Carbon

3.6

-0.2

5,327

79

35

Jefferson

3.7

-0.3

5,478

87

36

Fergus

3.8

-0.3

5,577

124

37

Silver Bow

3.9

-0.3

16,531

213

38

Broadwater

4.0

-0.1

2,574

94

38

Park

4.0

-0.4

8,571

346

40

Ravalli

4.2

-0.4

19,410

537

40

Roosevelt

4.2

-0.1

4,252

14

40

Rosebud

4.2

-0.6

3,618

0

40

Teton

4.2

0.6

2,640

39

44

Lake

4.3

-0.2

12,770

336

44

Musselshell

4.3

0.1

2,120

5

44

Phillips

4.3

0.0

1,916

57

44

Wheatland

4.3

-0.7

783

38

48

Blaine

4.4

-0.2

2,219

35

49

Petroleum

4.8

0.2

279

8

50

Flathead

5.0

-0.3

46,497

1,638

51

Sanders

6.1

-0.4

4,521

146

52

Granite

6.4

1.2

1,574

63

53

Mineral

6.5

-0.7

1,594

51

54

Big Horn

6.7

-1.4

4,417

-112

55

Glacier

7.4

-0.3

5,086

46

56

Lincoln

8.5

0.8

7,578

281

  

****** RESERVATION UNEMPLOYMENT RATES ******

The unemployment rate and ranking for each of Montana’s seven reservations is provided below.  Reservation unemployment rates and employment levels are not seasonally adjusted and should be compared to the unadjusted statewide unemployment rate of 3.6%. Reservation areas overlap with county areas, meaning that unemployed individuals living on a reservation will be included in both the reservation and county totals. 

 

Unemployment Rate

Employment

Rank

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Flathead

4.6

-0.2

12,506

334

2

Fort Peck 

5.4

-0.1

3,818

9

3

Blackfeet 

10.1

-0.7

3,605

33

4

Crow

10.1

-1.9

2,252

-49

5

Fort Belknap

10.3

-0.1

732

12

6

Northern Cheyenne 

10.6

-1.6

1,252

-11

7

Rocky Boy's

10.7

-1.0

1,067

15

 

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