HELENA – Montana’s unemployment rate dropped to 9% last month from 11.9% in April, officials said Friday, as more people went back to work with the partial lifting of coronavirus-related restrictions.
Total employment, including both payroll jobs and the self-employed, added 16,780 jobs over the month, state labor officials said. But the total was still 44,000 jobs below the state’s pre-pandemic peak.
The national unemployment rate in May was 13.3%.
“Due to our early action to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we’ve been able to continue with the phased reopening of our state, our economy is recovering, and thousands of Montanans have returned to work,” Gov. Steve Bullock said in a statement.
On Friday, the state announced 11 new cases of COVID-19 from more than 1,500 tests. The state has confirmed 666 cases of COVID-19 and 20 people have died. According to the state’s most recent data, there are 9 people currently hospitalized due to COVID-19.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
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