Flathead’s Jobless Rate Falls to 8.7 Percent

By Beacon Staff

Flathead County’s unemployment rate dropped again in August to a non-seasonally adjusted rate of 8.7 percent. The 0.4 percent decrease from July marked the fifth straight month that Flathead’s jobless rate has decreased, according to the Montana Department of Labor Industry (.pdf).

Statewide, the unemployment rate also ebbed a bit, down to 6.6 percent from 6.7 percent a month earlier. Only eight states added jobs in August on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to employer surveys used by the U.S. Labor Department. North Carolina added the most, with a gain of 7,000, followed by Montana with 5,100.

The biggest gains in both states were in government jobs. But Montana Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly says the August figure does indicate some job gains across most industries.

Northwest Montana is still home to some of the highest unemployment rates in the state, but Flathead, Sanders and Lincoln counties’ rates all dropped last month, while Lake County’s remained steady. Flathead County’s jobless rate has now decreased 4 percentage points from its high in March of 12.7 percent.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Highest Unemployment Rates in Montana, by County:

Sanders – 12.2
Lincoln – 11.8
Big Horn – 10
Roosevelt – 9.2
Granite – 9.2
Flathead – 8.7
Lake – 8.4
Glacier – 8.3
Rosebud– 8.2
Musselshell – 8.1

Source: Montana Department of Labor and Industry

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