Jobs Report: Montana’s Workforce Sets More Records in December

  • — January 24 2023

HELENA, Mont. – Following a year of records for low unemployment, labor force growth, and total employment, Governor Greg Gianforte today announced Montana’s unemployment rate fell to 2.8% in December as the state’s total employment and labor force reached an all-time high.

“Thanks to the hard work of Montanans and our pro-business, pro-growth, pro-jobs policies, 2022 was a year of record-setting economic growth for Montana,” Governor Gianforte said. “In the year ahead, we’ll continue to cut red tape and other unnecessary burdens on small businesses, create good-paying Montana jobs, and invest in our workforce to ensure Montana workers have the skills they need to succeed and thrive.”

Total employment rose by nearly 1,400 jobs in December to a new record high of over 553,000 jobs.

Montana’s labor force also continued its strong growth in December, rising by some 700 workers to more than 568,800, another all-time high.

Montana added 2,800 payroll jobs in December, with broad-based job gains led by the professional and business services and retail trade industries.

Over the course of 2022, Montana set several records for low unemployment, labor force growth, and total employment.

At the start of 2023, total employment is at an all-time high in Montana, having grown by more than 15,300 jobs over the course of the year. Montanans have created nearly 33,500 new jobs since Governor Gianforte was elected. Total employment has grown in Montana in 22 of the 23 months Governor Gianforte has been in office.

Montana’s labor force is also at an all-time high, with thousands of workers rejoining the labor force since the COVID-19 pandemic. Montana’s labor force today is almost 22,000 workers larger than it was pre-pandemic.

Montana's unemployment rate set new records in 2022, reaching 2.3% in March and April, the lowest level ever recorded. Montana’s unemployment rate has dipped below 3% in just 16 months since recordkeeping began. Fifteen of those 16 months have taken place during Governor Gianforte’s tenure.


** 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.

Due to annual revisions and updating to the labor market estimates, the January 2023 Employment Situation Report will not be released until Monday, March 13.


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