Montana’s unemployment rate has hit an all-time low in recent years and is expected to continue to decline. Chief Economist Barbara Wagner with the Department of Labor and Industry said the 4.5 percent unemployment rate is something she likes to call “the perfect grade:”

"Montana's unemployment rate dropped down to 4.5 percent," Wagner said. "Over the last month, Montana's unemployment rate has been in a long term decline since about 2011. This year in 2014, we've had very strong job growth. We're just continuously adding more and more jobs every month which is a really great sign for our workers and for our businesses."

Wagner said Montana has been doing extremely well with broad based growth. She said coming out of the recession, eastern Montana with the Bakken, oil development had very strong employment and wage growth as well as the Bozeman region, who has seen strong growth last year and the year before.

"In 2014 we've been seeing job growth throughout the state, adding jobs pretty much everywhere and also in most industries are also doing a great job adding jobs," Wagner said. "Our unemployment rate nationally is one of the lower ranks. We're currently ranked 10th in the nation for our unemployment rate. Our job growth for 2014 is also ranked in the top quarter for states."

Wagner said Montana has added over 800 jobs in June alone, totaling 1,000 jobs since the beginning of the year.

"Montana’s economy continued its steady growth last month, rounding out the first half of the year with more strong job creation," Governor Steve Bullock said. "Our state is consistently recognized for its great business tax climate, well trained workforce, and support of entrepreneurs and small businesses, and our unemployment rate is a strong sign of the great things happening in Montana."

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped by 0.2 percentage points to 6.1 percent.

Barbara Wagner: