Montana Unemployment Rate Inches Up to 5.6 Percent

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – The state Labor Department says Montana’s January unemployment rate increased to 5.6 percent.

December’s rate was revised to 5 percent, after being announced at 5.4 percent in late January.

Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly says the national recession continues to have an impact on Montana’s unemployment rate, but notes Montana is well below January’s national average of 7.6 percent.

Kelly says federal stimulus money should help put people back to work.

Seasonally-adjusted private payroll employment decreased by 2,000 jobs from December to January. The total number of Montanans who are working, including agricultural and self-employed workers, decreased by 6,038 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis.