Montana’s Labor Force, Total Employment Set New Records in May

  • — June 17 2022

MONTANA – Both Montana’s labor force and total employment continued to set historic records in May, with the state’s labor force growing by an estimated 2,168 workers and total employment posting gains of 1,559 workers. Both key indicators are at their highest point in Montana’s history.

“We continue to see more and more workers joining Montana’s labor force, an encouraging sign as Montana businesses seek to fill needed positions,” said Laurie Esau, Montana’s Commissioner of Labor & Industry. “Expanding our supply of workers – and ensuring they’re trained with the skills employers need -- will be key to continuing the strong economic growth Montana has enjoyed over the last year and a half. More Montanans are working than ever before, and its labor force today is the largest ever.”

Montana’s unemployment rate ticked up 0.1% in May to 2.4%, as labor force growth slightly outpaced total employment. Payroll employment declined slightly by 1,900, with declines primarily in the retail trade and construction industries.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.0% over the month, resuming the high pace of inflation.  The 12-month increase of 8.6% was the highest since December 1981. Price increases were broad-based, led by increases in energy costs. The index for all items minus food and energy, also called core inflation, increased by 0.6% for the month.


** 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 Market Information report including data from June 2022 will be released on Friday, July 22.


Visit our website at for additional information and analysis, including industry employment levels, background on the unemployment rate, and wage rates by occupation. Visit for Montana unemployment claims and current economic data.

Contact Sam Loveridge: Public Information Officer, Department of Labor and Industry
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