Montana’s unemployment rate held steady at 5.2 percent in November, while Valley County’s unemployment rate hit a low 3.5 percent. The state’s rate has declined by half a percent over the last year. The national unemployment rate remains higher than Montana’s rate at 7 percent in November, down 0.3 percentage points from the prior month.
“Montana’s economy continues to perform better than the rest of the nation, steadily adding jobs for our workers,” Gov. Steve Bullock said.
Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy said, “Retailers hired more workers this holiday season than in prior years, which suggests greater confidence in our stronger economy,”
Total state employment, including payroll employment plus agricultural and self-employed workers, added 856 jobs in November.
Payroll employment indicate that job growth in the private sector was much stronger than growth overall. Private payroll employment increased by 1,400 jobs over the month, with broad-based gains over all sectors.
Job losses in government offset the private sector job gains, with a loss of 700 jobs over the month in state and local government.
The Consumer Price Index was unchanged in November. Energy prices declined, which offset increases in the food index. Core inflation, measured by the all items less food and energy index, rose by 0.2 percent in November, keeping inflation below historic levels.