Montana Unemployment Ticks Up Slightly

Unemployment increased by one-tenth of a percent in August

By Beacon staff

August’s employment numbers show that Montana’s unemployment rate increased by one-tenth of a percent, according to the state Department of Labor and Industry.

State unemployment grew to 4.3 percent in August, up from 4.2 percent in July. The national unemployment rate stayed at 4.9 percent, the same level it’s been since June.

“As mentioned in this year’s Labor Day Report, Montana’s economy experienced job growth through the beginning of 2016,” Montana Labor and Industry Commissioner Pam Bucy said. “Employment data suggests that employment growth has moderated from last year’s pace due to weakness in the energy sector, but Montana’s unemployment rate remains low.” 

Flathead County’s unemployment rate hit 4.7 percent, up slightly from July’s 4.6 percent. Lincoln County hit 7.9 percent unemployment in August, increased from 7.8 percent, while Sanders County saw an increase from 6.8 percent to 7 percent from July to August.

Lake County sat at 4.8 percent unemployment in August, an increase from July’s 4.6 percent, and Glacier County continues to rank as the county with highest unemployment at 9 percent in August, which is a decrease from July’s 9.2 percent.

The DLI released the 2016 Labor Day Report on Sept. 6, detailing Montana’s positive economic record for the last year, with strong GDP growth and the highest recorded real wage growth in 2015.  Preliminary estimates from 2016 suggest employment growth has moderated in 2016, slowing from the rapid pace in 2015. Employment growth in 2015 was twice the historic average pace.

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