Montana’s unemployment rate was at 4.6% in July, a slight increase of 0.1 percentage points from June.  The unemployment rate has decreased by 0.7 percentage points since January.  The U.S. unemployment rate also increased by 0.1 percentage points to 6.2%.

“With more than 12,000 jobs created since the beginning of the year, and folks returning to the workforce, Montanans are feeling confident about the future of our state’s economy,” Governor Steve Bullock said.  “As our economy continues to improve, we must ensure that workers in the state have the knowledge and skills to fill the jobs that are most in demand.”

Payroll employment estimates suggest Montana added 3,100 jobs over the month, with 2,500 of those jobs in the private sector.  Jobs were added in the Financial Activities, Health Care, and Leisure Activities sectors.  Total employment, which includes payroll employment plus agricultural and self-employed workers, added 159 jobs in July.  The labor force increased slightly by 577 workers over the month.  This month’s estimates suggest a slowing of job growth from the record-breaking pace posted earlier this year, but final estimates will likely reveal smoother and more consistent growth across all months.  Montana has added over 12,000 jobs since the beginning of the year.