Montana's unemployment rate continued to move downward in October, while on the Hi-Line the rate went up in two counties and down in two counties.
Statewide, the jobless rate went down 0.1 percent to 6.0 percent. The national rate increased by 0.1 percent in September following a large drop last month.
“Montana continued to add jobs over the last month, putting 1,500 more Montanans back to work, ” said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. “This month’s job gain is the strongest monthly gain since the end of the recession in 2009. Montana’s economy is picking up steam. ”
Montana’s total employment increased by 1,527 jobs over the month on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to an average monthly gain of 708 jobs per month over the last year, Kelly said.
Total employment includes both payroll workers, plus agricultural and self-employed workers. Payroll employment estimates indicated an increase of 2,800 jobs, with a gain of 2,000 jobs in the private sector. Private sector job gains were greatest in the professional and business services industry and in leisure and hospitality.
By county, the rates were:
• Hill County's rate increased slightly from 4.8 percent in September to 5.0 percent in November. In all, 444 people were out of work.
• In Blaine County, the rate increased from 4.9 percent to 5.2 percent. In all, 143 people were out of work.
• Chouteau County's rate declined from 3.6 percent to 3.4 percent. A total of 93 people were out of work.
• Liberty County's jobless rate declined from 5.2 percent to 4.3 percent. Thirty-five people were jobless.