Montana Sees Growth in Wages, Health Care as Mining Drops

Annual Labor Day report on Montana's economy shows 4,600 new jobs added last year

By Associated Press

HELENA — Montana Gov. Steve Bullock says the state is outpacing most others in terms of wage increases, but faces challenges in transforming its economy as industries such as mining and utilities contract.

Bullock on Tuesday released the administration’s annual Labor Day report on Montana’s economy.

The Democratic governor touted an unemployment rate that’s hovered around 4 percent in recent years and wage growth that’s the fourth fastest in the nation.

Department of Commerce economist Barb Wagner says Montana experienced a $167 million decline in personal income in 2017 from the mining, utilities and agriculture industries.

That was offset by $251 million in growth in health care industry income and gains in financial services and leisure activities.

Across all industries the state added 4,600 new jobs last year.

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