Montana’s Unemployment Rate Drops to 4 Percent

Rate hits its lowest point since before the recession

By Beacon staff

Montana’s unemployment rate dropped to 4 percent in April, the lowest rate since September 2007.

Over the month of April, Montana’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points from the revised March unemployment rate of 4.2 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent in April.

Flathead County continues to sit within the top 10 counties with the highest unemployment, with 5.5 percent reported for April. Unemployment in Flathead County has decreased by 1.5 percent since the beginning of the year.

Lincoln County came in with a 10.3 percent unemployment rate in April, and Glacier County had 8.9 percent. Lake County sat at 4.6 percent unemployment, and Sanders County reported 7.6 percent unemployment.

“With strong job gains in April, Montana’s economy continues to do very well in 2015,” Governor Steve Bullock said in a prepared statement. “More Montanans are entering the labor force looking for work, and more workers have been able to find jobs, which is great news for Montana workers and businesses.”

“We expect strong wage growth to continue in 2015 as Montana businesses increase wages to recruit workers in this low unemployment rate environment,” said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy. “In today’s tight labor market, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry is committed to helping prepare Montana’s workforce for tomorrow’s jobs, so that businesses can count on their workforce to ensure strong economic growth in the years to come.”

Montana’s total employment levels continued to grow, increasing by 1,299 jobs in April, for a total of 10,729 jobs added over the last twelve months. Total employment estimates include payroll employment, plus agricultural and self-employed workers. Payroll employment estimates indicate a similar gain of 1,100 jobs over the month, bouncing back from a loss of 300 jobs in March.