New numbers out of Montana's Department of Labor and Industry are showing that October was a good month job growth.

The unemployment rate dropped 0.1% to reach 6.0% in what Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly is calling "the strongest monthly gain since the end of the recession in 2009."

The change in the unemployment rate is seasonally adjusted to take into account hiring rates for the holidays. Total employment jumped up by nearly 1,572 jobs in October. To put that into perspective, the average monthly increase in 2011 was 708 jobs per month.

Interview with Senior Economist Barbara Wagner:

As has been the case since the recession, the northwest region has lagged behind growth in other regions of the state. "While the state as a whole has been growing jobs at about 2%," explains Senior economist with the Department of Labor and Industry, Barb Wagner, "in Ravalli and Missoula county growth is only at about .7% over the last year."

As far as the consumer price index is concerned, there was a decrease in the cost of energy, however, core inflation still rose because of an increase in the cost of food by 0.2% and an increase in the cost of housing and rentals by 0.3%. The increase in housing could be a good sign that the building industry is en route to a recovery.



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