Montana’s unemployment rate increased slightly in May, moving up 0.1 percentage points to 3.9 percent, the state Department of Labor and Industry announced on Friday.
The U.S. unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 4.3 percent. The convergence of the national and state rates is expected with the tightening labor marker, Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy said.
The unemployment rate in Missoula County hovered at 3.1 percent and 4.1 percent in Ravalli County.
“Montana’s economy continues to be one of the nation’s strongest, providing opportunities for people in the labor market,” said Bucy.“This is a benefit for workers looking to earn higher wages or improve their employment skills.”
Both the payroll employment estimates and the total employment estimates (which includes payroll workers, the self-employed and agricultural workers) posted employment decreases from April to May of 600 jobs and 670 jobs respectively.
The retail industry posted the highest number of job losses. However, overall payroll employment remains strong, with 7,400 more jobs than May 2016, according to Bucy.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.1% in May. The main contributor to the decline was a decrease in the energy index. Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U has increased by 1.9 percent.
The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, posted a gain of 0.1 percent last month.