Flathead County Unemployment Falls Below 10 Percent

By Beacon Staff

For the second consecutive month, the unemployment rate in Flathead County dropped, falling to 9.7 percent in May – the first time joblessness here was in the single digits since January.

Meanwhile, unemployment statewide inched upward slightly, according to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. Montana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose to 6.3 percent in May from 6 percent in April. The national unemployment rate jumped from 8.9 percent to 9.4 percent during the same time period.

Even with the decrease, Flathead County’s unemployment rate was the third highest in the state, following Lincoln County, 12.9 percent, and Sanders County, 12.6 percent. Northwest Montana counties continued to be the hardest hit with Glacier County, 9.1 percent, and Mineral County, 9 percent, rounding out the top five highest rates in the state.

In April, Flathead County’s unemployment rate dropped precipitously, down from 12.7 percent in March to 10.5 percent. That decrease ended an eight-month streak in which the number of jobless in the county increased, including one three-month stretch where the rate ballooned from 7.3 to 12.2 percent.

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