Montana’s Unemployment Rate Hits Record Low With Strong Jobs Growth

  • — December 17 2021

HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today announced Montana’s unemployment rate decreased 0.3% in November to 2.8%, tying the lowest unemployment rate ever recorded in the state. Strong job growth continued in November, with over 3,000 jobs created.

“Montana is closing out the year with yet another month of record-setting employment and strong growth in our labor force,” said Governor Greg Gianforte. “As we enter a new year, we’ll continue enacting our pro-jobs, pro-growth agenda to complement the unmatched work ethic of Montanans.”

Since Governor Gianforte was elected in November 2020, Montana’s unemployment rate has dropped from 4.5% to 2.8%, matching a record low from February 2007. Montana’s unemployment rate is well below the national rate of 4.2%.

Meanwhile, Montana’s total employment, which includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers, grew by 3,069 in November, which is the fastest job growth recorded for the year.

For the third consecutive month, the number of employed Montanans hit a new record high of 528,142. The number of unemployed Montanans also continued to drop, hitting 15,403 – the lowest number of job seekers without work since 2007.

The number of available workers in Montana’s labor force, a critical metric of concern during the current labor shortage, increased by 1,543. Montana’s labor force has grown by more than 10,000 workers since the governor took office in January.

Private payroll employment increased by 3,100 jobs, with construction, retail, healthcare, and professional services posting meaningful job gains of 500 jobs or more. Public sector payroll employment posted a small decline for the month.

While celebrating November’s historic jobs report, the governor again called on the federal government to address rising inflation.

“Inflation is rising at a record pace not seen in nearly 40 years, and it’s robbing hardworking Montanans of what they earn. Every Montanan feels it, and we can’t afford for the federal government to continue driving up inflation with trillions more in new government spending,” Gov. Gianforte said.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.8% in November with broad-based increases in most goods. Gasoline prices increased 6.1%. The index for all items less food and energy, referred to as core inflation and an important metric for future inflation expectations, increased 0.5% in November.

###

** 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 25th, rather than on the usual third Friday of the month.

**** 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 current economic data. 

 

****** 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 1.9%. 

Rank

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

McCone

1.0

-1.1

982

10

2

Daniels

1.3

-0.8

885

-7

2

Sweet Grass

1.3

-1.2

1,881

37

4

Gallatin

1.4

-2.2

72,889

5,703

4

Powell

1.4

-1.6

2,970

66

4

Stillwater

1.4

-2.3

5,410

258

7

Chouteau

1.5

-1.8

2,483

41

7

Fallon

1.5

-2.1

1,606

11

9

Custer

1.6

-1.9

6,064

106

9

Dawson

1.6

-3.0

4,413

-55

9

Lewis and Clark

1.6

-2.0

36,342

1,445

9

Liberty

1.6

-1.6

1,006

15

9

Pondera

1.6

-2.6

2,618

0

9

Sheridan

1.6

-2.9

1,763

42

9

Toole

1.6

-2.4

2,011

-54

9

Valley

1.6

-1.8

3,945

-19

17

Beaverhead

1.7

-1.4

5,024

129

17

Carter

1.7

-1.0

674

-3

17

Meagher

1.7

-2.5

956

8

17

Powder River

1.7

-0.6

993

-19

17

Yellowstone

1.7

-2.2

82,416

3,705

22

Cascade

1.8

-2.7

36,052

369

22

Fergus

1.8

-1.7

5,611

-60

22

Hill

1.8

-2.1

7,521

248

22

Jefferson

1.8

-1.9

5,760

212

22

Judith Basin

1.8

-1.4

1,012

11

22

Madison

1.8

-2.9

4,513

636

22

Petroleum

1.8

-1.5

270

5

22

Teton

1.8

-1.8

2,756

65

30

Deer Lodge

1.9

-1.9

4,912

177

30

Garfield

1.9

-0.4

734

-14

30

Golden Valley

1.9

-1.1

363

10

30

Missoula

1.9

-2.4

62,506

2,325

30

Phillips

1.9

-2.0

1,866

15

30

Ravalli

1.9

-2.4

20,669

906

30

Richland

1.9

-3.2

5,723

116

30

Silver Bow

1.9

-2.7

17,092

854

30

Treasure

1.9

-1.5

353

12

39

Carbon

2.0

-2.4

5,492

223

39

Wibaux

2.0

-2.8

433

-3

41

Blaine

2.1

-2.0

2,213

8

41

Lake

2.1

-2.5

13,496

639

41

Roosevelt

2.1

-2.6

4,189

-67

44

Park

2.2

-3.1

8,865

679

45

Broadwater

2.3

-2.6

2,549

101

45

Flathead

2.3

-3.1

48,654

3,483

47

Musselshell

2.4

-2.3

2,298

89

47

Prairie

2.4

-4.1

488

31

47

Rosebud

2.4

-2.1

3,434

-89

50

Wheatland

2.8

-3.0

740

6

51

Granite

3.1

-2.4

1,561

119

51

Sanders

3.1

-2.7

4,950

198

53

Lincoln

3.5

-3.6

7,558

280

54

Mineral

3.7

-2.7

1,679

99

55

Big Horn

4.1

-1.4

4,486

-69

56

Glacier

4.2

-4.7

4,982

345

****** 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 1.9%. Reservation areas overlap with county areas, meaning that unemployed individuals living on a reservation will be included in both the reservation and county totals.

Rank
Area
Current Unemployment Rate
Change over Year
Current Employment
Job Change from Last Year
 
1
Flathead
2.2
-2.7
13,219
616
 
2
Fort Peck
2.7
-3.3
3,777
-54
 
3
Fort Belknap
5.0
-4.5
729
2
 
4
Rocky Boy's
5.6
-6.3
1,088
31
 
5
Blackfeet
5.8
-6.4
3,536
229
 
6
Northern Cheyenne
6.2
-4.6
1,218
-27
 
7
Crow
6.3
-2
2,301
-22

 

 

Contact Jessica Nelson: Public Information Officer, Department of Labor and Industry
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