“A Booming Economy”: Annual Labor Day Report Highlights Montana’s Historic Economic Strength

  • — September 07 2022

MONTANA- The Montana Department of Labor & Industry released its annual Labor Day economic report today, which highlights the historic gains made by Montana’s economy over the last year.  The report, compiled by the Department’s Research and Analysis Bureau, showcases the significant increases in job creation, wages and economic growth that took place around the state.

“On Labor Day 2022, the state is experiencing a booming economy, with more Montanans working than ever before,” the report says. “Businesses have continued to thrive, grow, and increase production in the face of worker shortages by increasing productivity and raising wages to attract workers.”

The report also demonstrates the importance of growing Montana’s workforce to its continued prosperity. “An essential ingredient in this economic growth has been a skilled and experienced workforce… and the productivity of our labor force continues to grow and expand,” says Laurie Esau, Montana’s Commissioner of Labor & Industry in the report.

“Montana’s economy exploded in 2021 with one of the strongest recoveries across the nation. More jobs were added in 2021 – 19,600 jobs – than in any other year in history. Put in perspective, an average of only 6,800 jobs were added annually in the five years prior to the pandemic. Annual real GDP growth ranks 7th among states, expanding at 6.7% -- the fastest growth experienced in the state since 1980,” Esau adds.

The Department’s Labor Day Report is compiled annually and provides a detailed examination at the economic performance of the state as measured by key growth indicators such as employment growth, income growth, and workforce training and development.

The 2022 Labor Day Report highlights strengths of Montana’s growing economy, including:

  • In 2021, Montana added 19,568 jobs – the most jobs added in one year ever measured.
  • Since February 2020, Montana experienced the 5th fastest total employment growth (4.4%) and 3rd fastest payroll job growth (3.8%) among states.
  • In 2022, unemployment rates fell 2.3%, the lowest ever observed, with the number of unemployed Montanans also hitting a record low of 13,097.
  • Annual real GDP growth in Montana was the fastest in the state since 1980.
  • The 6.7% growth in 2021 was nearly four times faster than the pre-pandemic average.
  • Montana’s average annual wages grew 5.9% in 2021, the 10th fastest in the nation.

View the full Labor Day Report on the Department’s website here.

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