Montana unemployment rate at record 2.3%; Missoula at 2.8%
(Missoula Current) Montana’s unemployment rate continued its downward trend in March, hitting an all-time low of 2.3%, the Department of Labor and Industry said Friday.
The figure has fallen in each of the last four months, hitting its previous record in February at 2.4%. The rate in Missoula County sits at 2.8% – a decrease of 0.3 points over the prior year.
“With our pro-jobs, pro-family policies and the unparalleled work ethic of Montanans, our economy is setting the standard for the nation,” Gov. Greg Gianforte said Friday in a statement. “We’ll continue to work with job creators to bring new folks into the workforce and make sure they get the training and skills they need to succeed, thrive and prosper.”
According to the latest figures, total employment in Montana added 1,847 jobs in March. In the first three months of 2023, more than 4,600 jobs have been created.
March's figures also mark the 17th consecutive month Montana's unemployment rate has stayed under 3%. Gianforte said more than 37,000 new jobs have been created in the state since he took office.
Democrats credit recent legislation passed in Congress, including the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, among others, for the nation's gain in jobs.
But Gianforte has blamed recent legislation for prompting inflation, which increased by 0.4% in March, or 5.6% over the past year.
The unemployment rate in Ravalli County was 3% in March while Lake County was 3.4%. Glacier and Sanders counties were 5.5% while Mineral and Lincoln counties were 5.9% and 6.1%, respectively.