New data indicates that Montana’s unemployment rate dropped a bit in September, but is still hovering around four percent. Montana Department of Labor and Industry Economist Barbara Wagner says that most of the state is doing really well.

“Most of the northwest portion of the state has been doing pretty well this last year with improved job growth. Missoula actually added about 1,600 jobs over the month, which is actually faster job growth than we’ve seen in recent month. So that’s the good news.”

The story is not so optimistic for neighboring Mineral county, where timber industry layoffs were a big setback. Also, there are trends in eastern Montana that Wagner says are concerning.

“In eastern Montana, we are watching very closely because of the decline in oil prices. It has had a large impact on the oil related employment in the area, also in September we saw a bit of a drop in construction employment.”

Wagner says the downturn in construction employment may simply be because of the seasonal nature of that industry.