Montana Unemployment Rate Flattens Out

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Montana’s unemployment dropped slightly in June, ending a streak of five consecutive months of increases.

The unemployment rate fell to 4.1 percent in June from May’s 4.2 percent.

Montana continued to have a higher unemployment rate than neighboring states: 2.8 percent in South Dakota, 3.2 percent in Wyoming, 3.3 percent in North Dakota and 3.8 percent in Idaho.

But Montana stayed below the national figure, which remained steady at 5.5. percent in June.

State Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly says Montana’s economy is continuing to add jobs and may be stabilizing from the impact of high fuel prices and national economic concerns.

The number of Montanans who are working increased by 1,759 last month. The Labor Department says inflation increased 1.1 percent.