Montana’s Unemployment Rate Continues Down to 4.3 Percent

Flathead County's non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped from 7.8 percent to 7.5 percent last month

By Beacon Staff

Montana’s unemployment rate continued its decline in February, down 0.1 percentage points to 4.3 percent.

Montana’s total employment levels increased by 2,921 jobs in February. Over-the-year employment growth of roughly 7,700 jobs indicates strong job growth of 1.6 percent. Total employment estimates include payroll employment, plus agricultural and self-employed workers. Payroll employment estimates indicate a gain of 2,000 jobs over the month.

The U.S. unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.5 percent in February, tied for 15th lowest in the nation with Texas. 

“With strong job creation in the first two months of this year, Montana’s economy continues the growth we saw throughout last year,” Gov. Steve Bullock said. “I’m committed to building on our economic strength to ensure all Montana communities feel the benefits of our growing economy.”

Flathead County’s non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate dropped from 7.8 percent to 7.5 percent last month.

Lincoln County’s unemployment rate rose from 13 percent to 13.6 percent, still the highest in the state.

Glacier County’s rate hit 11.6 percent last month, down from 12.5 percent in January. It remains the second highest figure in the state.

Sanders County, with the third highest rate, was 11.1 percent last month, a drop of 0.01 percentage point.

Lake County’s jobless rate was 6 percent, a drop of 0.6 percentage point.

Fallon County had the state’s lowest rate with 2.1 percent.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in February with stabilization in energy prices after several months of sharp decline for gasoline prices. The CPI-U is at the same level as February 2014, indicating no inflation over the past year. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, rose 0.2 percent in February.