(Missoula Current) As gas prices fall and inflation shows signs of easing, Montana got more good news, this time on the jobs front.

The Montana Department of Labor in Industry on Friday said Montana's total employment hit a new high in November by adding nearly 500 new jobs and 1,700 new payroll jobs.

“With our pro-business, pro-growth, pro-jobs policies, and the hard work of Montanans, more Montanans are working and thriving in good-paying jobs than ever before,” Gianforte said.

Gianforte took credit for the job gains while Democrats in Congress did so as well, saying the policies and measures they've passed over the past two years are responsible for the gains.

Regardless of where credit is applied, Montana has added 32,000 jobs since November 2020, when Gianforte and Biden were both elected. In Montana, more than 551,000 Montanans are now working.

Montana’s unemployment now sits at a scant 2.9%. In Missoula, it stands at 2.1% and more than 1,500 jobs have been added so far this year when compared to last year.

In Ravalli County, the unemployment rate sits 2.3%. It's 3.7% in Sanders County, 2.8% in Flathead County and 4.2% in Lincoln County. Mineral County has the state's highest unemployment rate at 4.7% an has lost 82 jobs since last year.

“In the new year, we’ll continue to unleash the engine of economic growth, business development, and job creation that, for too long, sputtered here in Montana,” Gianforte added.

The Federal Reserve approved a half-point interest rate hike this week, a smaller increase than in recent months, and acknowledged that inflation is finally easing.

At the same time, gas prices have tumbled to below $3 a gallon and AAA believes they will continue to fall next year.