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August 2018 Economic Situation Report

Governor Bullock Announces Montana’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.6%


Friday, September 21, 2018
Ronja Abel, Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444-9725
Marissa Perry, Press Secretary, Governor’s Office, (406) 444-451
Barbara Wagner, Chief Economist, Department of Labor & Industry, 444-5474

Governor Bullock Announces Montana’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.6%

Bullock highlights new Census data showing Montana’s middle-class growth is fastest in the country

MONTANA – Governor Steve Bullock today announced that Montana’s unemployment rate dropped for the fifth straight month, down to 3.6% for the month of August. The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 3.9%.

“It’s a great time to be a worker in Montana. Household income is growing faster than any state in the country, and we lead the nation in middle-class growth,” said Governor Bullock. “Over the last six years we’ve made significant progress in creating opportunities for businesses, employees, and communities to grow and thrive. Our strong economy reflects that work.”

Payroll employment posted a gain of 700 jobs in August, with 600 of those jobs in the private sector.  Total employment, which includes agricultural and self-employed workers in addition to payroll employment, added 400 jobs.

In addition, Governor Bullock shared yesterday that Montana had the fastest growing median household income among states from 2016 to 2017, driven by higher wages and more entrepreneurial activity.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.2% in August with price increases in shelter and energy. Gasoline prices increased 3% over the last month. Over the last year, the energy index has increased by 10.2%. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, increased 0.1% in August, with a change of 2.2% over-the- year. 


** 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 non-seasonal patterns easier to identify. The margin of error for the unemployment rate is plus or minus 0.5 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 & Industry’s Research and Analysis Bureau at 406-444-4100.

The next Labor Situation Report for the month of September 2018 will be released on Friday, October 19, 2018.

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