The amount of money paid to workers in Montana is rising, but some counties are doing better than others. Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research Director Patrick Barkey explains.

"The data we show, particularly in Ravalli County but also in Missoula County, growth picked up in 2015 pretty significantly," Barkey said. "Both counties now are exceeding the state average and that's a fairly recent development for a part of the state that had not been performing well for the passed several years."

Ravalli County wage growth was at 7.7 percent in 2015, while Missoula wage growth was at 5.6 percent. Both Missoula and Ravalli County outpaced the statewide average of 4.8 percent, thanks particularly to wage gains in certain industries.

“Healthcare is growing quickly in Missoula, a pretty big year for healthcare,” said Barkey. “There’s lots of fuel for growth in healthcare there has been insurance expansion there has been all kinds of things going on in healthcare. In Ravalli County, just to single out one industry, it’s really a construction swing. Construction activity in Ravalli County has swung up very strongly. It looks like about 20% growth.”

Barkey was quick to point out that these figures are not representative of dollar-per-hour wages, instead they represent the total amount of wages paid to all workers in the county. For Missoula, that number is up around two billion dollars.