2018 Jobs Issue: You’re Hired!

As the Flathead’s economy continues to gather momentum, it’s a job-seeker’s market with hundreds of openings and opportunities

By Beacon Staff

Can you feel it?

The Flathead Valley is abuzz with the beginnings of spring, and summer will be here before we know it. The economy continues to strengthen, and there are hundreds of job openings across the county.

It’s a time of opportunity for anyone looking for work or a career change; check out what employers need and dust off your resume, it’s hiring season.

Beacon file photo.

You’re Hired!

As the Flathead’s economy continues to gather momentum, it’s a job-seeker’s market with hundreds of openings and opportunities

by Molly Priddy

It’s undeniable: the Flathead is booming.

Construction crews are buzzing on projects across the valley, the county’s population has hit 100,000 for the first time, and the economy continues to push forward with hundreds of job openings.

“We currently have 825 jobs posted,” said Laura Gardner, manager at the Kalispell Job Service. “I think that’s almost 100 more than last week when I looked at it.”



Help Needed: Employment Projections in Montana

Projections of jobs with the most openings by sector, salary and education levels through the year 2026

by Molly Priddy

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor and Industry released its employment and labor force projections for the state from 2016 through 2026. DLI predicts that with forecasted employment growth and retirements, the unemployment rate could be as little as 2 percent by 2026.


Beacon file photo

Hitting 100,000 Residents

New census data shows Flathead County became fourth Montana county to top 100,000 in population in 2017

by Molly Priddy

The county added 2,307 people from 2016 to 2017, the second most of any other Montana county. As of July 2016, Flathead County had 97,693 people, and the additional residents brought the population estimate to exactly 100,000 on July 1, 2017.


Flathead Valley Community College graduates outside the Flathead County Fairgrounds. Beacon File Photo

Bridging the Labor Gap

Initiative helped job seekers learn trade-oriented skills for in-demand fields

by Tristan Scott

An impending labor shortage is forecast to sweep the nation as baby boomers retire in droves without a stable of skilled young workers to fill the gap — a potential crisis that will continue to exacerbate Montana’s workforce woes unless a solution to stem the shortfall is in place.

At less than 4 percent, Montana’s unemployment rate is a positive economic marker in most regards.


Xanterra Parks and Resorts, Inc. employees stock merchandise at the facility in Columbia Falls. Beacon file photo.

Seasonal Jobs Remain Major Part of Flathead Economy

Employers like Whitefish Mountain Resort and Xanterra rely on J-1 Visa international students

by Justin Franz

Flathead County’s economy is dominated by the tourism industry, and because of the high number of seasonal jobs, the area has its lowest unemployment rates in the summer. The unemployment rate hit 4.1 percent in July and August last year, compared to 6.8 percent in January and February of this year. For much of the year, there are about 42,000 to 43,000 jobs in the Flathead, but that number jumps up to 47,000 during summer.



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