Flathead Jobless Rate Declines to 11.2%

By Beacon Staff

Flathead County’s unemployment rate decreased precipitously in May, falling to 11.2 percent from 12.7 percent a month earlier, according to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry. The non-seasonally adjusted rate has now decreased four straight months after hitting a record-breaking 14.1 percent in January.

The county’s jobless rate is still the fourth highest in the state, behind neighboring Lincoln, Sanders and Glacier counties. And the May number is just 0.3 percent lower than the same month last year.

At the state level, Montana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 7.3 percent in May.

Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly says the rate of job growth slowed slightly in May, but the state remains on track for recovery. The U.S. unemployment rate also remained constant at 9.1 percent, with small gains in job levels.

Kelly says the trend for private sector job growth continues, with more than 1,100 jobs added in May.

Montana’s unemployment rate was 7.5 percent at the start of the year.

<a href="http://www.ourfactsyourfuture.org/cgi/databrowsing/?PAGEID=4&SUBID=139" title="Here are the jobless rates for every Montana county (.pdf).“>Here are the jobless rates for every Montana county (.pdf).

Flathead unemployment rates by month:

May 2011: 11.2%
April 2011: 12.7%
March 2011: 13.1%
February 2011: 13.2 %
January 2011: 14.1%
December 2010: 12.1%
November 2010: 11.8%
October 2010: 10.8%
September 2010: 9.8%
August 2010: 10.2%
July 2010: 10.8%
June 2010: 11.4%
May 2010: 11.5%

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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