Montana’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent in January, down one-tenth of a percentage point from December due to strong job gains.  Montana’s unemployment rate continues to be lower than the national unemployment rate of 6.6 percent, which is also down one-tenth of a percent since December.
“Montana started 2014 off strong, posting its highest job gains in years—adding nearly 2,000 jobs in January,” Governor Steve Bullock said. “These numbers are more proof that Montana’s economy is on the right track.
“Data revisions suggest Montana’s job growth for 2013 was much stronger than first estimated,” said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy.  “Montana’s jobs grew by 1.7 percent in 2013, which is faster than our historical average growth.”
Total employment, which includes payroll employment plus agricultural and self-employed workers, added 1,906 jobs in January and posed the highest over-the-month job gain since July of 1983.  Payroll employment estimates also suggest strong employment growth over the month, adding 1,600 private sector jobs and 200 public jobs (for a total job gain of 1,800).  The leisure and hospitality sector added the most jobs of any industry with a gain of 1,200 jobs.