Governor Bullock Announces Montana’s Unemployment Rate Remains Steady at 3.5% in February

MONTANA – Governor Bullock today announced Montana’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.5 percent in February, with about 800 jobs added over the month. The U.S. unemployment rate was also 3.5 percent in February.

“These numbers reflect prior to COVID-19 reaching Montana, and we know much has changed in the last month,” said Governor Bullock. “Our long-term growth is best helped by guaranteeing the health and safety of our workers and their families during this crisis. To rebuild our economic strength, we must do everything we can to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in Montana.”

Total employment, which includes agricultural, payroll, and self-employed workers, grew by 798 jobs in February with similar growth in the labor force of 803 workers. Payroll employment was level after making strong gains of 2,700 over the last three months.

Unemployment claims have increased in the last several weeks due to public health and safety measures. These impacts will be evident in next month’s employment data. A website to track current claims and employment data is available at lmi.mt.gov/home/job-tracking. In addition, a resource guide for Montana employers and employees impacted by COVID-19 is available at dli.mt.gov/employer-covid-19.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.1% in February, with a decline in the energy index. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, rose by 0.2%. Core inflation rose 2.3% over the last twelve months.

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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 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.

The next Labor Situation Report for the month of February released on Friday, April 17.

**** 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 4.2%. 

 

 

Unemployment Rate

Employment

Rank

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Fallon

2.0

-0.2

1,655

65

2

McCone

2.1

0.5

931

8

3

Carter

2.4

-1.1

613

-1

3

Treasure

2.4

-1.1

327

0

5

Gallatin

2.5

0.0

67,843

3,167

6

Sheridan

2.7

0.2

1,680

28

7

Liberty

2.9

0.1

925

17

7

Sweet Grass

2.9

-0.5

1,750

96

7

Wibaux

2.9

0.1

438

28

10

Daniels

3.0

0.7

869

53

10

Dawson

3.0

0.3

4,433

-124

10

Garfield

3.0

-0.1

708

21

10

Powder River

3.0

-0.5

927

43

10

Richland

3.0

0.3

5,724

87

15

Chouteau

3.3

-0.1

2,369

26

15

Toole

3.3

0.8

2,023

16

17

Beaverhead

3.4

-0.1

4,854

105

17

Pondera

3.4

-1.7

2,551

10

17

Stillwater

3.4

-1.0

5,150

383

20

Hill

3.6

-0.7

7,356

133

20

Lewis and Clark

3.6

-0.1

34,557

459

22

Madison

3.7

-0.7

5,351

617

22

Valley

3.7

-0.1

3,871

91

22

Yellowstone

3.7

-0.2

78,642

498

25

Cascade

3.8

-0.5

36,644

-51

25

Deer Lodge

3.8

-0.3

4,807

10

25

Meagher

3.8

-0.8

970

22

28

Jefferson

4.0

-0.4

5,481

108

28

Missoula

4.0

0.0

61,912

570

30

Custer

4.1

0.3

5,875

145

31

Blaine

4.2

-0.7

2,425

300

31

Powell

4.2

-0.6

2,797

135

31

Teton

4.2

-0.1

2,628

73

34

Judith Basin

4.3

-1.3

943

76

35

Park

4.5

0.1

8,307

139

35

Silver Bow

4.5

-0.1

16,390

104

37

Carbon

4.6

-0.1

5,259

40

37

Fergus

4.6

-0.3

5,797

360

37

Phillips

4.6

-0.6

1,790

4

40

Wheatland

4.8

-0.5

747

47

41

Golden Valley

4.9

-1.1

350

7

41

Petroleum

4.9

0.1

269

9

41

Roosevelt

4.9

-0.1

4,271

85

41

Rosebud

4.9

-1.0

3,581

23

45

Broadwater

5.0

0.5

2,465

-18

45

Prairie

5.0

1.0

460

5

45

Ravalli

5.0

-0.7

19,326

604

48

Lake

5.5

0.1

12,531

184

49

Musselshell

5.6

0.5

2,165

106

50

Flathead

6.2

0.0

44,820

457

51

Granite

6.9

-1.4

1,610

-17

52

Big Horn

7.4

-1.8

4,311

-39

53

Sanders

7.9

-0.8

4,436

130

54

Glacier

8.2

-1.6

4,973

57

55

Lincoln

9.7

0.2

7,263

74

56

Mineral

10.2

1.6

1,590

22

 

****** 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 4.2%. 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

5.8%

0.2%

12,273

306

2

Fort Peck 

6.3%

0.3%

3,832

15

3

Fort Belknap

9.6%

-0.3%

795

27

4

Crow

11.1%

-1.9%

2,207

-53

5

Blackfeet 

11.3%

-1.8%

3,524

35

6

Rocky Boy's

11.3%

-0.8%

1,057

16

7

Northern Cheyenne 

12.2%

-1.6%

1,234

1

 

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