Montana's unemployment rate dropped to 4 percent in November.

The state's jobless rate had held at 4.3 percent for three straight months prior to Friday's announcement.

State Labor Department officials say payroll employment increased by 2,000 jobs last month, with gains in construction and leisure activities industries. Total employment estimates reflect a loss of about 400 self-employed or agricultural jobs for a net monthly gain of about 1,600 jobs.

Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy says the state must ensure that expanding business have highly trained people to fill the jobs being created.

The national unemployment rate also fell three-tenths of a percentage point to 4.6 percent in November.


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