The unemployment rate in Missoula County has fallen nearly 3% over this time last year as the state’s rate of unemployment continues to fall, hitting a 14-year low of just 3.5% in August.
The national unemployment rate for August was 5.2%.
“With Montana open for business and more Montanans returning to good-paying jobs, our economic and jobs recovery continues at a strong pace,” Gov. Greg Gianforte said in a press release. “Montana is a leader in our nation’s economic comeback, with our state’s unemployment rate at its lowest level in 14 years.”
One new study released last week by CareerCloud honed in on the national labor shortage, suggesting August saw a record 10.9 million jobs go unfilled. It placed Montana at No. 8 in having the largest labor shortage in the country.
The information was compiled from data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Three of the four industries with the highest number of job openings paid annual wages under the national median.
According to the study, the industries with the greatest number of job openings included the trades and transportation, professional and business services, education and health, and leisure and hospitality.
Montana’s unemployment rate of 3.5% in August was the state’s lowest since July 2007 when it was also 3.5%, according to the state. In August, more than 521,000 Montanans were employed, recovering nearly 100% of the jobs lost since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
At the same time, the rate of inflation moderated in August, increasing just 0.3%. Price increases continue to be driven primarily by high prices for used cars and trucks, and energy commodities. The index for all items less food and energy, referred to as core inflation, increased 0.1% in August.
Around the region, Missoula County reported an unemployment rate of 2.8% in August while Ravalli County reported a rate of 2.9%. Lake County had a rate of 3.3%; Sanders County 3.8%; and Mineral County 4.3%.