Flathead’s Jobless Rate Falls to 9.1 Percent

By Beacon Staff

Flathead County’s unemployment rate dropped for the fourth consecutive month in July, to a non-seasonally adjusted 9.1 percent. That’s 0.5 percent lower than the June rate and 3.6 percent lower than four months ago, according to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry (.pdf).

Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate rose in July, to 6.7 percent from 6.4 percent a month earlier. Nationally, the unemployment rate dipped for the first time in 15 months to 9.4 percent, despite employers cutting 247,000 jobs.

Flathead County still has, by far, the highest unemployment rate among the state’s six most populous counties, followed by Missoula County (5.8 percent) and Gallatin County (5.6 percent).

Northwest Montana continues to be home to some of the most sobering unemployment rates in the state, with the highest in Sanders County, at 12.7 percent, and second-highest in Lincoln County, at 12.2 percent.

Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly says Montana’s economy is showing mixed signs of recovery, which is an improvement over the significant financial and economic downturn this past winter. But he says his department is looking forward to clear indications of job stability and economic recovery.

The unemployment rate fell in 17 states and the District of Columbia from June to July. Montana was one of 26 states that saw an increased unemployment rate.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Highest Unemployment Rates in Montana, by County:

Sanders – 12.7
Lincoln – 12.2
Roosevelt – 9.6
Glacier – 9.5
Big Horn – 9.2
Flathead – 9.1
Granite – 8.7
Meagher – 8.6
Lake – 8.4
Mineral – 8.4

Source: Montana Department of Labor and Industry

Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.