State, Flathead County Unemployment Rates Tick Upward

By Beacon Staff

HELENA – Montana’s unemployment rate rose a small amount in September from 6.6 percent to 6.7 percent.

The unemployment rate returned to its July level, after a small improvement in August.

Flathead County’s unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.8 percent in September from 8.7 percent in August, marking the end of five straight months of decreases in the county’s jobless rate. Flathead County’s unemployment is the fourth highest in the state, with Sanders County suffering the highest rate in Montana at 11.2 percent.

The national unemployment rate also increased in September — from 9.7 percent to 9.8 percent.

Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly says the national rate worsens because of large job losses, mitigated somewhat by a declining labor force as workers get discouraged with their job search.

Montana he says differs in that the state added jobs, but added more workers into the labor force — causing the unemployment rate to go up a tick.

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