Though Montana's jobless rate ticked upward in July, the state is still on the path to economic recovery.
That's the finding in the monthly unemployment rate figures released Friday afternoon.
The Montana jobless rate in July increased by .2 percentage points to 7.5 percent, according to the state Labor Department.
Despite the increase, Montana's economy appears to be headed in the right direction, Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly said. “The U.S. economic recovery has slowed in recent months, which has slowed Montana’s economic recovery,” Kelly said. “Despite these headwinds, Montana’s economy has expanded in the last quarter, adding about 3,000 jobs.”
Part of the increase is caused by the loss of jobs provided by the federal stimulus program, Kelly said. Nationwide, the jobless rate increased .1 percentage points in July.
Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 1,000 in June. The number of payroll jobs has increased by 3,100 in the last quarter. The estimate for the total number of Montanans who are working, including agricultural, payroll, and self-employed workers, decreased by 900 in June. Even with the small job loss for the month, total job levels for the second quarter of 2011 were 2,900 above the previous quarter,the commissioner said.
On the Hi-Line:
• Hill County had a jobless rate of 6.5 percent. A total of 561 people were out of work.
• Blaine County's unemployment rate was 6.7 percent. In all, 182 people were jobless.
• Liberty County's jobless rate was 5.3 percent. Thirty-nine were out of work.
• Chouteau County has 134 people of work, 5 percent of the work force.