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August 2016 Economic Situation Report

Montana’s Unemployment Rate at 4.3 Percent in August

Montana’s Unemployment Rate at 4.3 Percent in August

HELENA, Mont. – Montana’s unemployment rate increased slightly by one-tenth of a percent for the month of August, to 4.3 percent.  The national unemployment rate stayed at 4.9 percent, at the same level it has been since June.

“As mentioned in this year’s Labor Day Report, Montana’s economy experienced job growth through the beginning of 2016,” said Montana Labor & Industry Commissioner Pam Bucy. “Employment data suggests that employment growth has moderated from last year’s pace due to weakness in the energy sector, but Montana’s unemployment rate remains low.”

The Montana Department of Labor & Industry released the 2016 Labor Day Report on September 6th, which detailed Montana’s positive economic record for the last year, with strong GDP growth and the highest recorded real wage growth in 2015.  Preliminary estimates from 2016 suggest employment growth has moderated in 2016, slowing from the rapid pace in 2015.  Employment growth in 2015 was twice the historic average pace.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased in August by 0.2 percent. Over the last twelve months, the CPI-U rose 1.1 percent before seasonal adjustment.  Core inflation, measured by the all items less food and energy index, rose 0.3 percent over the month.

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** Statewide unemployment figures are seasonally-adjusted.  Seasonally-adjusted numbers remove the effects of events that follow a more or less regular month-to-month pattern each year. These adjustments make nonseasonal patterns easier to identify. The margin of error for the unemployment rate is plus or minus 0.3 percentage points at the 90 percent confidence level. All questions relating to the calculation of unemployment rates should be directed to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry’s Research and Analysis Bureau at 1-800-541-3904.

The next Labor Situation Report for the month of September 2016 will be released on Friday, October 21, 2016. 

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