Missoula Unemployment Rate Declines in January, But 56 Jobs Lost Since 2016
Montana’s unemployment numbers are finally out for January. According to Montana Department of Labor and Industry Chief Economist Barbara Wagner, the unemployment rate has continued to fall.
"Montana's economy continued to improve, we posted 2,700 jobs added in January over the month since December, so that's pretty strong job growth and also, our unemployment rate ticked down slightly from four percent to 3.9 percent," Wagner said.
In Missoula specifically, economists estimate there were 57,613 jobs in January, which is actually a loss of 57 jobs from January 2016. Despite a small decline in the number of Missoula jobs, Wagner says the county actually had job growth.
'We are showing pretty strong job growth in the Missoula area, the unemployment rate in Missoula over the last year, using the new numbers, has dropped by six-tenths of a percent," Wagner said. "So that's very strong growth in employment and also a fairly strong decline in the unemployment rate."
Ravalli County dropped its unemployment rate by seven-tenths of a percent. Both Missoula and Ravalli County have unemployment rates lower than the statewide average and Wagner says both counties are already down to a very tight labor market.