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July 2018 Economic Situation Report

Governor Bullock Announces Montana’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.7%

Friday, August 17, 2018
Ronja Abel, Communications Director, Governor’s Office, 444-9725
Marissa Perry, Press Secretary, Governor’s Office, (406) 444-4514
Barbara Wagner, Chief Economist, Department of Labor & Industry, 444-5474

Governor Bullock Announces Montana’s Unemployment Rate Falls to 3.7%

MONTANA – Montana’s unemployment rate dropped again for the third straight month, down to 3.7% for the month of July. The U.S. unemployment rate was at 3.9% in July.

“With Montana’s unemployment rate at the lowest in over a decade, and as Montana’s economy continues to grow with more good-paying jobs, we have a lot to be excited about,” said Governor Bullock. “This is a reflection of our strong business climate and entrepreneurialism, as well as efforts in both the public and private sectors to build a more diverse workforce that’s ready to take on the jobs of today and the future.”

Payroll employment posted a gain of 900 jobs in July, for a total of 3,400 jobs added in the last three months.  Local government again posted the largest over-the-month growth, with the Administrative Support industry also posting a large increase. Total employment levels posted insignificant growth over the last month, despite increases in payroll employment, indicating workers switching from self-employment to payroll jobs.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.2% in July, with most of the increase coming from an increase in shelter prices. The acceleration of inflation continued, with the over-the-year increase in the CPI-U hitting 2.9% for the second month in a row. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, increased 0.2% in July, with a change of 2.4% over-the- year, the largest over-the-year increase since September 2008. 


** 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 August 2018 will be released on Friday, September 21, 2018.

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