Montana Unemployment Falls to 5.3 Percent

By Beacon Staff

Montana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in January, down one-tenth of a percentage point from December.

Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy says the state saw the addition of 1,600 private sector jobs and 200 public jobs in January. The leisure and hospitality sector led the way, adding 1,200 jobs. Including agricultural and self-employed workers, Montana added 1,906 jobs in January, marking the highest gain over a one-month period since July 1983.

Bucy says recalculations using more complete data showed Montana’s job growth for 2013 was 1.7 percent, which is faster than the state’s historical average growth. But the recalculations also indicated Montana’s unemployment rate in December was 5.4 percent, a bit higher than the 5.2 percent originally reported.

The national unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in January. February’s numbers are due out next week.

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