Montana Unemployment Maintains Historic Low

  • — May 19 2023

State’s labor force, total employment hit all-time high

HELENA, Mont. – Montana’s unemployment rate remained at a historic, all-time low of 2.3% for the second consecutive month, Governor Greg Gianforte announced today. Total employment and labor force in Montana reached all-time highs, growing by more than 1,400 jobs and some 1,200 workers respectively.

“Montanans work hard to earn a living, own or rent a home, raise their family, and achieve the American dream,” Gov. Gianforte said. “Today’s jobs report continues to show our pro-jobs, pro-family, pro-business policies are working. We’ll keep advancing those policies to help hardworking Montanans prosper, keep more of what they earn, and drive our economy forward.”

Gov. Gianforte greeting an employee at Selltec Prep, a prep-and-ship center, in Roundup in July 2021

Gov. Gianforte greeting an employee at Selltec Prep, a prep-and-ship center, in Roundup in July 2021

 For the first time ever, Montana has more than 560,000 employed workers – an increase of almost 39,000 workers since Governor Gianforte was elected. Similarly, the state’s labor force has grown by more than 28,000 workers.

Payroll jobs in Montana grew by 1,100 jobs in April, with the largest gains in manufacturing, transportation, and health care.

With just 13,029 unemployed workers across the state, the number of unemployed Montanans is at its lowest point since recordkeeping began. The number of unemployed workers has declined by more than 45% since Governor Gianforte was elected.

Unemployment in Montana has remained at or below 3.0% for 19 consecutive months under the governor’s leadership. Before the governor took office, unemployment in Montana had fallen under 3.0% only three times since recordkeeping began in 1976.

The unemployment rate for the U.S. in April changed little at 3.4%.

In April, the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4% over-the-month. The index for shelter was the largest contributor to the monthly all items increase, followed by increases in the index for used cars and trucks and the index for gasoline. The food index was unchanged in April for the second straight month. The 12-month change in the all-items index was 4.9%. The index for all items minus food and energy, also called core inflation, increased by 0.4% for the month, with a 5.5% increase in the year ending in April. 


** 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 Data and Operations Bureau at 406-444-4100.

The next Labor Market Information report, including data from May 2023, will be released on Friday, June 16th.


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.

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