Montana’s Unemployment Rate Hits 14-Year Low

  • — September 17 2021

HELENA, Mont. – Montana’s unemployment rate hit a 14-year low, dropping to 3.5% in August. The national unemployment rate for August is 5.2%.

“With Montana open for business and more Montanans returning to good-paying jobs, our economic and jobs recovery continues at a strong pace,” Governor Greg Gianforte said. “Montana is a leader in our nation’s economic comeback, with our state’s unemployment rate at its lowest level in 14 years.”

Montana’s unemployment rate of 3.5% in August is the state’s lowest since July 2007 when it was also 3.5%.

In August, 521,408 Montanans were employed, recovering nearly 100% of the jobs lost since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The state’s total employment, which includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers, grew by 1,505 in August. Since January 2021, Montana’s total employment has grown by more than 9,700.

Payroll jobs posted an increase of 600 jobs since June. In the last two summer months, private employment increased substantially, but government jobs have declined.

The rate of inflation moderated in August with the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increasing by 0.3% over the month in August. The over-the-year price increase was 5.3%, slightly lower than last month. Price increases continue to be driven primarily by high prices for used cars and trucks and energy commodities. The index for all items less food and energy, referred to as core inflation, increased 0.1% in August.

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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 August will be released on Friday, October 22nd.

**** 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 2.9%.

Unemployment Rate
Employment
Rank
County
Current Unemployment Rate
Change over Year
Current Employment
Job Change from Last Year
1
McCone
1.9
-1.9
916
12
2
Powell
2.0
-1.3
2,960
-7
3
Sweet Grass
2.0
-0.9
1,881
48
4
Gallatin
2.0
-2.2
72,410
2,850
5
Daniels
2.1
0
855
-18
6
Meagher
2.1
-2
897
6
7
Powder River
2.2
0.5
920
-39
8
Beaverhead
2.3
-1.1
4,993
81
9
Fallon
2.3
-2.1
1,600
-33
10
Liberty
2.3
0.2
918
-9
11
Toole
2.3
-2.9
2,034
-41
12
Chouteau
2.4
-1.2
2,333
17
13
Petroleum
2.4
-0.3
244
-4
14
Carter
2.5
-0.7
620
8
15
Fergus
2.5
-0.8
5,658
-45
16
Garfield
2.5
0.8
673
-26
17
Lewis and Clark
2.5
-2
36,732
1,005
18
Stillwater
2.5
-2.6
5,384
329
19
Custer
2.6
-1.7
6,075
131
20
Madison
2.6
-1.2
4,130
-149
21
Valley
2.6
-1.3
3,996
48
22
Dawson
2.7
-3.7
4,332
-164
23
Judith Basin
2.7
-2.6
841
-6
24
Park
2.7
-3
9,195
342
25
Sheridan
2.7
-1.8
1,674
-5
26
Deer Lodge
2.8
-1.4
5,080
161
27
Teton
2.8
-0.7
2,657
-24
28
Yellowstone
2.8
-2.2
81,292
859
29
Missoula
2.8
-2.9
62,377
1,848
30
Broadwater
2.9
-2.6
2,632
103
31
Jefferson
2.9
-1.5
5,780
142
32
Ravalli
2.9
-2
20,671
809
33
Carbon
3.0
-2.2
5,372
48
34
Cascade
3.0
-2.5
35,929
311
35
Golden Valley
3.1
-0.2
349
2
36
Hill
3.1
-1.9
7,222
-29
37
Pondera
3.1
-2.3
2,526
-2
38
Silver Bow
3.1
-3.2
17,061
421
39
Flathead
3.1
-3
50,812
3,059
40
Wibaux
3.2
-1.3
426
-21
41
Lake
3.3
-2.5
13,438
440
42
Phillips
3.3
-1.1
1,754
-13
43
Treasure
3.3
-0.6
325
3
44
Granite
3.4
-2.7
1,554
33
45
Prairie
3.4
-4.4
457
19
46
Richland
3.6
-4
5,665
143
47
Blaine
3.7
-0.7
2,121
-48
48
Musselshell
3.7
-1.8
2,183
16
49
Sanders
3.8
-2.4
5,047
176
50
Rosebud
4.0
-1
3,370
-121
51
Roosevelt
4.1
-2.1
4,087
-31
52
Mineral
4.3
-2.7
1,800
48
53
Wheatland
4.3
-2
687
-2
54
Lincoln
4.6
-3.2
7,886
262
55
Glacier
6.6
-4.2
5,141
74
56
Big Horn
6.7
0
4,312
-192

 

****** 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 2.9%. 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

3.5

-2.6

13,185

434

2

Fort Peck

5.1

-2.6

3,698

-20

3

Fort Belknap

8.4

-1.7

698

-15

4

Blackfeet

9.1

-5.7

3,633

49

5

Rocky Boy's

9.3

-5

1,038

-1

6

Crow

10.0

-0.2

2,218

-86

7

Northern Cheyenne

10.3

-1.7

1,186

-46

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