Montana’s Record Employment, Labor Force Growth Continues in September

  • — October 21 2022

HELENA, Mont. – Governor Greg Gianforte today announced the number of Montanans working and the size of the state’s workforce in September reached new all-time highs, according to data from the Montana Department of Labor and Industry and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Job creation in the state also grew for the 29th consecutive month.

“Despite national policies pushing our country into a recession and forcing higher and higher prices onto hardworking Montanans, we’re still creating jobs and growing our workforce in Montana,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Months of labor force growth is easing the strain on Montana employers. While Montana is creating jobs and growing our economy, the Biden administration must get its house in order, get inflation under control, and get our country and our economy back on the right track.”

Since Gov. Gianforte was elected in November 2020, more than 32,000 jobs have been created in Montana.

Montana’s total employment hit a new record high in September, growing by nearly 200 jobs with 551,578 Montanans working.

The state’s labor force continued its record growth in September, adding 736 workers with nearly 568,000 Montanans in the state’s workforce.

As in August, total employment in Montana was slightly outpaced by labor force growth, leading to a 0.1% increase in the unemployment rate to 2.9%. The rate remains among record lows experienced in 2022, 2021, and 2007.

Inflation and rising prices continue to weigh heavily on Montanans, as the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4% over-the-month and the 12-month change in the CPI-U was 8.2%. The shelter, food, and medical care indexes were the largest contributors to the increase. The index for all items minus food and energy, also called core inflation, increased 0.6% in September.

According to BLS, between September 2021 and September 2022, gas prices increased nationally by 18.2%, energy services prices by 19.8%, grocery prices by 13.0%, baby food prices by 11.8%, infants’ and toddlers’ apparel prices by 6.7%, airfare prices by 42.9%, and new vehicle prices by 9.4%.

As winter approaches, fuel oil prices are up 58.1%, electricity prices up 15.5%, utility gas service prices up 33.1%, and propane, kerosene, and firewood prices up 12.8% from a year ago.

 

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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 0.5 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 October 2022 will be released on Friday, November 18.

 

**** 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 2.3%. 

 

Unemployment Rate

Employment

Rank

County

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Fallon

1.4

-0.6

1594

50

2

Gallatin

1.7

0

77567

3605

3

McCone

1.8

0.2

921

18

3

Sheridan

1.8

-0.5

1705

27

3

Sweet Grass

1.8

0

1970

103

6

Deer Lodge

1.9

-0.5

5321

339

6

Meagher

1.9

-0.1

954

13

6

Powder River

1.9

-0.2

942

-3

6

Prairie

1.9

-0.8

474

14

10

Beaverhead

2

0

5113

92

10

Custer

2

-0.2

6287

215

10

Daniels

2

0.1

848

7

10

Dawson

2

-0.3

4397

48

10

Toole

2

0.1

2043

57

10

Valley

2

-0.2

3908

-6

16

Carter

2.1

0

605

10

16

Fergus

2.1

-0.1

5830

93

16

Lewis and Clark

2.1

0

37598

1022

16

Powell

2.1

0.3

2997

-30

16

Stillwater

2.1

0

5405

63

16

Treasure

2.1

-0.3

334

10

22

Garfield

2.2

0.1

681

-10

22

Golden Valley

2.2

-0.6

362

13

22

Madison

2.2

-0.2

4569

291

22

Pondera

2.2

-0.2

2518

27

22

Wibaux

2.2

-1

406

9

22

Yellowstone

2.2

-0.1

86478

4215

22

Missoula

2.2

-0.2

65740

2049

29

Carbon

2.3

-0.2

5709

252

29

Hill

2.3

-0.1

7171

-189

29

Jefferson

2.3

-0.1

5902

148

32

Liberty

2.4

0.2

891

7

32

Park

2.4

0.1

9919

665

32

Ravalli

2.4

-0.1

21485

721

32

Teton

2.4

0

2672

-43

32

Silver Bow

2.4

-0.2

17614

558

32

Cascade

2.4

0

37931

1073

38

Chouteau

2.5

0.2

2272

-29

38

Flathead

2.5

-0.1

51703

1391

40

Judith Basin

2.6

0.5

916

16

41

Lake

2.7

0.1

13914

153

41

Richland

2.7

-0.3

5499

-124

43

Blaine

2.8

-0.1

2132

-8

43

Granite

2.8

-0.1

1584

23

43

Musselshell

2.8

-0.3

2286

19

46

Phillips

2.9

0.5

1757

45

46

Rosebud

2.9

-0.4

3482

84

48

Roosevelt

3

0.1

4185

72

48

Wheatland

3

-0.8

688

-2

50

Broadwater

3.1

0.3

2678

98

50

Petroleum

3.1

0.8

252

-2

52

Sanders

3.3

0.2

5230

131

53

Lincoln

3.7

-0.1

8490

628

54

Mineral

3.8

0.2

1833

-34

55

Big Horn

4.6

-0.9

4516

129

56

Glacier

5.4

0.7

4648

-763

 

****** 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 2.3%. 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

Area

Current Unemployment Rate

Change over Year

Current Employment

Job Change from Last Year

1

Flathead

2.8

0

13659

172

2

Fort Peck

3.8

0

3769

59

3

Fort Belknap

6.8

0.3

702

-1

4

Crow

7

-1.2

2331

71

5

Northern Cheyenne

7.4

-1.1

1231

32

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