According to Department of Labor and Industry Senior Economist Barbara Wagner, February was another strong month for job growth in Montana.

"Montana's unemployment rate was at 4.3 percent in February, that's down a tenth of a percentage point from last month, and that's just a continuation of the lower and lower unemployment rates that we've been seeing throughout the last three years," Wagner said. "Actually its longer than 3 years, since 2010, we've been basically going on a long term downward trend."

Wagner says the state added about 3,000 jobs last month. Not only is the state adding jobs, but unlike the rest of the country, wages appear to be rising as well.

"Wage growth in Montana has been pretty good, even throughout the recession which is different than the national economy there's been a lot of reports nationally about how wages have been stagnate since the recession, that's not been true in Montana," Wagner said. "We don't have the final wage data for 2014, but our preliminary data suggests that there's 3 in a half percent wage growth."

Because of low inflation due to dropping gas prices, Wagner says that, this time, nearly all wage growth will actually go into worker’s pockets.


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