Governor Bullock Announces Montana’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 5.3% in September

Governor Steve Bullock today announced that Montana’s unemployment rate returned to a near-normal level of 5.3 percent in September after dropping from 5.6 percent in August. Economists typically consider normal unemployment levels to be between 4 percent to 5 percent. 

 

“While Montana’s unemployment rate continues to decline, this public health crisis is far from over. We must come together to get our hands around this virus by following the public health measures already in place to keep Montanans safe and healthy,” Governor Bullock said. “If we do so, we can keep businesses and schools open and support parents in the workforce to maintain our economic recovery.”

 

The national unemployment rate has remained higher than Montana’s, at 7.9 percent for September. Montana has the 9th lowest unemployment rate in the nation. 

 

In September, total employment posted strong employment gains of 4,250 over the month. Total employment includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers. Total employment has regained over 48,000 jobs since the April recession low. Payroll employment also posted gains of 3,100 jobs over the month, with retail and leisure activities, which saw some of the most significant impacts from the pandemic, posting the largest gains and adding 1,200 jobs each. Payroll employment has increased by 42,600 jobs since April.

 

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.2 percent in September, with an increase in used cars and truck prices accounting for most of the rise. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, rose by 0.2% over the month and 1.2 percent over the last year.

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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 0.6 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 October will be released on Friday, November 20.

 

**** 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. Visit www.lmi.mt.gov/home/job-tracking for Montana unemployment claims and economic data for the current recession.

****** 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 4.6%. 

 

 

Unemployment Rate

Employment

Rank

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Garfield

1.8

-0.5

691

-41

2

Liberty

2.1

-0.4

925

-18

3

Powder River

2.4

0.3

918

-45

3

Daniels

2.6

0.7

847

-19

3

Petroleum

2.6

-0.2

261

-14

6

Carter

2.8

0.5

626

-20

6

Sweet Grass

2.8

0.5

1740

-48

8

Fergus

3

0.6

5461

-430

9

Beaverhead

3.1

0.6

4884

-48

9

Chouteau

3.3

0.9

2358

-42

11

McCone

3.3

1.2

878

-72

12

Teton

3.3

0.5

2595

-91

12

Powell

3.5

0.3

2754

-174

12

Phillips

3.6

0.8

1782

-67

15

Valley

3.6

0.4

3785

-183

16

Gallatin

3.7

1.7

67576

-347

16

Madison

3.7

0.9

4079

-252

16

Custer

3.9

1.5

5858

-79

19

Golden Valley

3.9

0.1

345

-12

20

Lewis and Clark

3.9

1.2

33959

-674

20

Treasure

3.9

1.6

319

-14

20

Deer Lodge

4

1.3

4747

-118

20

Fallon

4

2.3

1589

-78

20

Jefferson

4

1.1

5375

-124

25

Judith Basin

4

1.6

980

2

25

Blaine

4.1

1.2

2153

-282

25

Sheridan

4.2

2

1683

-17

25

Hill

4.3

1

7139

-282

29

Meagher

4.3

1.5

893

-11

29

Carbon

4.5

1.9

5202

-138

29

Ravalli

4.5

1.2

19375

-238

29

Stillwater

4.5

1.9

5060

-104

29

Wibaux

4.5

1.3

425

-22

34

Yellowstone

4.5

1.6

77749

-1778

35

Pondera

4.6

1.5

2450

-110

36

Toole

4.6

2.4

1953

-112

37

Missoula

4.7

2

62217

-362

38

Park

4.8

2.3

8771

-107

38

Cascade

4.9

1.8

35808

-913

40

Granite

5

0.7

1490

-74

40

Rosebud

5

0.8

3443

-226

40

Broadwater

5.1

1.8

2413

-78

40

Musselshell

5.2

1.5

2142

-47

44

Lake

5.3

1.7

12761

-54

44

Roosevelt

5.3

1.6

4118

-174

44

Flathead

5.5

1.8

45825

-224

44

Silver Bow

5.6

2.4

15977

-488

48

Dawson

5.8

3.3

4289

-132

49

Sanders

5.8

1.4

4756

81

50

Big Horn

6.4

0.1

4466

-80

51

Wheatland

6.5

3.5

720

-54

52

Richland

6.8

3.9

5391

-273

53

Mineral

6.9

2.3

1634

-76

54

Lincoln

7.2

1.2

7469

-177

55

Prairie

7.7

3.6

420

-45

56

Glacier

8.3

2.6

5425

-166

 

****** 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 4.6%. 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

5.5

1.7

12,535

-37

2

Fort Peck

6.7

1.9

3,702

-157

3

Fort Belknap

9.1

2.3

709

-90

4

Crow

9.7

0.2

2,276

-41

5

Blackfeet

11.5

3.5

3,815

-120

6

Northern Cheyenne

11.9

1.3

1,218

-59

7

Rocky Boy's

12.6

2.6

1,033

-34

 

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