Montana’s Unemployment Rate Continues Decline in April

  • — May 21 2021

HELENA, Mont. – Montana’s unemployment rate declined from 3.8% in March to 3.7% in April. The unemployment rate for the U.S. was 6.1% for the month.

“Montana’s economic recovery depends on getting Montanans back to work into good-paying jobs, allowing our businesses to fill open jobs and meet their growing customer demand,” Gov. Gianforte said. “By ending the pandemic-related federal unemployment bonus that discourages work and by launching a return-to-work bonus, more Montanans will reenter the workforce, and Montana’s economy will continue to rebound.”

Montana’s unemployment rate for April matches the pre-pandemic rate of 3.7% in February 2020. There are, however, 9,428 fewer Montanans in the labor force than there were in February 2020.

Montana’s total employment, which includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers, grew by 1,799 in April. Employment gains were fueled by workers returning to the labor force, which added 1,437 workers in April as vaccines were made available to more Montanans. After March’s strong growth in payroll employment, Montana saw a small decline of 300 payroll jobs in April.

“The specter of inflation is concerning. It’s time for the federal government to turn off the spigot of spending trillions of dollars that drive up our national debt, a shameful burden our kids and grandkids will inherit,” Gov. Gianforte said.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.8% over the month in April for total a 12-month increase of 4.2%, the largest 12-month increase since September 2008. Prices of used cars and trucks rose 10% in April and accounted for a third of the increase. Prices mostly increased across the board. The index for all items less food and energy, referred to as core inflation, increased 0.9% in April.

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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 May will be released on Wednesday, June 23.

**** 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 on 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 3.8%. 

Rank

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

McCone

1.7

-1.2

984

16

2

Daniels

1.8

-2

921

29

3

Petroleum

2.2

-0.4

267

4

4

Garfield

2.5

-1.4

749

-8

5

Toole

2.5

-5.2

2145

145

6

Liberty

2.6

-0.3

991

15

7

Judith Basin

2.7

-4.9

928

-35

8

Powder River

2.7

-2.4

984

40

9

Chouteau

2.8

-3

2409

73

10

Fallon

2.8

-3

1655

84

11

Beaverhead

2.9

-4.2

5074

387

12

Sweet Grass

3

-3.4

1873

103

13

Gallatin

3

-9.6

63985

3912

14

Powell

3.1

-6.9

2839

195

15

Carter

3.2

-0.1

632

-6

16

Custer

3.2

-4.5

6167

412

17

Lewis and Clark

3.2

-7.3

35701

3442

18

Stillwater

3.2

-6.4

5304

439

19

Teton

3.2

-3.5

2774

127

20

Treasure

3.2

-1.2

361

16

21

Deer Lodge

3.3

-7.1

5111

576

22

Hill

3.3

-5.4

7345

418

23

Meagher

3.3

-5

909

91

24

Pondera

3.3

-3.6

2649

97

25

Dawson

3.4

-3.5

4491

183

26

Valley

3.4

-3.9

4003

256

27

Fergus

3.5

-4.6

5906

504

28

Yellowstone

3.5

-7.7

78920

5424

29

Prairie

3.6

-2.2

460

6

30

Jefferson

3.7

-5.8

5657

509

31

Ravalli

3.7

-7

20722

2291

32

Wibaux

3.7

-6

438

21

33

Cascade

3.7

-8.8

35864

2958

34

Golden Valley

3.8

-2.8

353

16

35

Madison

3.8

-6.1

4347

341

36

Missoula

3.8

-10

60778

5103

37

Carbon

3.9

-8.5

5293

334

38

Rosebud

3.9

-3.3

3628

31

39

Blaine

4

-1.5

2265

18

40

Sheridan

4

-4.2

1744

124

41

Silver Bow

4

-9.9

16711

1789

42

Lake

4.1

-5.2

13495

1130

43

Phillips

4.2

-3.1

1880

61

44

Broadwater

4.3

-6.9

2573

274

45

Musselshell

4.6

-4.6

2311

155

46

Park

4.6

-13.6

8164

854

47

Roosevelt

4.7

-2.9

4302

161

48

Flathead

4.7

-12.2

46624

5545

49

Wheatland

5.1

-7

751

35

50

Richland

5.3

-5.1

5490

74

51

Sanders

5.3

-8.3

4942

541

52

Granite

5.7

-13.9

1450

218

53

Mineral

5.8

-13.4

1676

258

54

Lincoln

7.2

-11.5

7501

763

55

Glacier

8.6

-4.3

4858

49

56

Big Horn

9

-0.6

4540

-14

 

 
****** 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 3.8%. 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

Area

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Flathead

4.3

-5.7

13206

1129

2

Fort Peck

5.9

-4.1

3873

157

3

Fort Belknap

9.5

-3.9

746

7

4

Rocky Boy's

10.2

-12.5

1060

52

5

Northern Cheyenne

10.8

-6.1

1267

6

6

Blackfeet

11.6

-6

3455

40

7

Crow

13.4

-1.1

2316

8

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