Governor Bullock Announces Montana’s Unemployment Rate Decreased to 4.9% in November

  • — December 18 2020

Governor Steve Bullock today announced Montana’s unemployment rate continued to decline to 4.9% in November, down from 5.0% in October. Montana’s rate remains lower than the national rate of 6.7% for November.

“Montana’s economic recovery continues to outpace the nation, with job growth much stronger than in previous recessions,” Governor Bullock said. “In order to continue strong job growth, we allocated an additional $20 million in Coronavirus Relief Funds to pay additional unemployment insurance benefits to claimants during December. These dollars are flowing to grocery and retail stores in our local communities, translating into an estimated $35 million of additional economic activity in the state.”

Total employment growth since the recession trough in April has been faster than in other recessions. Total employment, which includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers, surged in May and June as businesses reopened, adding an average of 19,200 jobs per month. From July to October, job growth averaged 3,300 per month. Total employment growth has slowed to 797 in November, but remains much higher than the pace of recovery after the 2008 recession, which averaged about 480 job gains per month.

The labor force added 706 workers in November, bringing the level equal to the labor force in February prior to the pandemic and higher than November 2019. Payroll employment also posted a gain of 1,200 jobs over the month, with the most jobs added (1,300) in the professional and business services industry. This industry includes temporary employment services, which often increases employment during recession recoveries.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.2% in November with broad-based increases in prices. The index for all items less food and energy, referred to as core inflation, also increased 0.2%.

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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 December will be released on Tuesday, January 26.

**** 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 4.3%.

 

Rank

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Daniels

2.2

0.0

889

-3

2

Liberty

2.3

-0.5

988

30

3

Garfield

2.4

0.0

741

9

3

McCone

2.4

0.5

933

-20

3

Powder River

2.4

0.0

979

3

6

Carter

2.5

0.4

701

34

7

Sweet Grass

2.7

0.1

1,798

8

8

Golden Valley

3.0

-1.3

356

0

9

Beaverhead

3.1

0.0

4,935

10

9

Powell

3.1

-0.4

2,804

-126

11

Chouteau

3.2

0.8

2,505

40

11

Judith Basin

3.2

0.6

1,041

45

13

Petroleum

3.4

-0.4

285

8

14

Fallon

3.5

1.3

1,641

-40

14

Treasure

3.5

1.5

335

-6

16

Custer

3.6

1.0

5,930

-57

16

Fergus

3.6

0.7

5,589

-342

16

Gallatin

3.6

0.9

67,256

-96

16

Teton

3.6

0.4

2,667

-22

16

Valley

3.6

0.2

3,877

-100

21

Jefferson

3.7

0.4

5,440

-76

21

Lewis and Clark

3.7

0.9

34,182

-546

21

Stillwater

3.7

0.9

5,172

-29

24

Deer Lodge

3.8

0.8

4,695

-109

25

Yellowstone

3.9

0.9

78,208

-1,023

26

Hill

4.0

0.5

7,207

-238

26

Phillips

4.0

0.7

1,851

-4

28

Missoula

4.1

1.0

62,352

324

28

Toole

4.1

1.2

1,999

-55

30

Blaine

4.2

0.7

2,229

-221

30

Meagher

4.2

1.0

963

16

32

Carbon

4.4

0.9

5,274

-55

32

Madison

4.4

0.2

4,177

-64

32

Ravalli

4.4

0.8

19,529

-148

35

Cascade

4.5

1.3

35,896

-971

35

Musselshell

4.5

0.6

2,249

38

35

Pondera

4.5

1.5

2,563

-27

38

Lake

4.6

0.6

12,689

-28

38

Sheridan

4.6

2.3

1,726

8

40

Dawson

4.7

2.2

4,437

-46

40

Rosebud

4.7

0.2

3,494

-182

40

Silver Bow

4.7

1.0

16,095

-475

43

Roosevelt

4.8

1.2

4,239

-104

43

Wibaux

4.8

1.8

440

-7

45

Broadwater

4.9

0.9

2,418

-76

46

Park

5.2

1.5

8,413

-71

47

Granite

5.3

-0.8

1,462

-39

47

Richland

5.3

2.9

5,565

-262

49

Flathead

5.4

0.7

44,825

-285

50

Big Horn

5.5

-1.1

4,519

7

51

Sanders

5.6

0.8

4,699

83

51

Wheatland

5.6

2.2

774

-17

53

Mineral

6.4

1.1

1,557

-67

54

Prairie

6.7

3.3

448

-30

55

Lincoln

6.9

-0.2

7,420

-124

56

Glacier

8.0

0.6

5,185

61

****** 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 4.3%. Reservation areas overlap with county areas, meaning that unemployed individuals living on a reservation will be included in both the reservation and county totals.

Rank

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Flathead

4.9

0.7

12,462

-8

2

Fort Peck

6.1

1.4

3,810

-92

3

Crow Reservation

8.4

-1.6

2,302

0

4

Fort Belknap Reservation

9.5

1.5

734

-69

5

Northern Cheyenne

11

-0.1

1,234

-41

6

Blackfeet Indian

11.2

1.1

3,666

39

7

Rocky Boy's

11.9

1.7

1,059

-18

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