Montana Faces Bleak Labor Forecast as Aging Workers Retire

About 120,000 residents will retire in the next 10 years

By Dillon Tabish

HELENA — Montana is facing a labor shortage as workers age.

The Missoulian reports about 120,000 residents will retire in the next 10 years.

That number outstrips the 80,000 to 90,000 new workers expected to enter the labor market in the coming decade.

Big Sky Economic Development Authority Executive Director Steve Arveschoug spoke during a recent Montana Chamber of Commerce event.

He said he considers workforce development to be Montana’s biggest economic development issue and that one of the possible solutions is using technology to boost worker productivity.

Montana Department of Labor and Industry Chief Economist Barb Wagner said the labor shortage is expected to push the state’s unemployment rate from 4 to 2 percent by 2025.

She said employers struggled to find workers when the rate was 3.2 percent.

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