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Montana Unemployment Rate Drops 0.1 Percent, Missoula Adds 600 Jobs

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The numbers are out and it appears that Montana’s unemployment rate dropped by about 0.1 percent between the end of June and the end of July. Senior Economist for the Montana Department of Labor and Industry Barbara Wagner explains what the drop means.

“Montana’s unemployment rate has declined just a little bit more this month. We’re now at 5.3 percent, which is really a good number,” Wagner said. “Economists like to see the unemployment rate around 5 percent, when it gets down around 4 percent we start to get worried that businesses can’t find enough workers.”

The eastern border of Montana showed the lowest unemployment rates, with many counties below 2 percent. But even in counties far from the Bakken like Missoula, things look positive.

” [The unemployment numbers in Missoula] are a little bit lower than the statewide rate and are actually coming down from where Missoula was during the recession,” Wagner said. “There is job growth in the area, it doesn’t sound like a lot of jobs, but Missoula County has added about 600 jobs over the year which is a pretty strong

Lincoln county in Northwestern Montana had the highest unemployment rate in the state.

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