MT’s Unemployment Rate Drops
Surprise, surprise! Montana’s unemployment rate has dropped yet again…Will it end soon? Chief Economist Barbara Wagner with the Department of Labor & Industry said Montana’s unemployment rate has not been this low since October 2007…
"Montana's unemployment rate fell down 0.2 percentage point last month down to 4.1 percent. That's fairly low. It's right towards the bottom of what economists consider normal unemployment levels," Wagner said. "We continue to have a lower unemployment rate as we add more jobs to our state."
Wagner said "the bottom of normal" is, in fact, a good place to be. Montana’s total employment levels surged up by 2,725 jobs in March, for a total of 8,873 jobs added in the first quarter of 2015.
"When unemployment rates get too low like three percent or 2.5 percent, it gets hard for businesses to find workers and if they can't find the workers to find the jobs, then they can't necessarily produce all of the goods and services that they want to produce," Wagner said. "It can actually slow our economic growth in some ways, but it's good for workers because wages increase rapidly in those tight employment situations."
When asked about job losses near the Bakken oil patch, Wagner said job losses in the eastern part of the state have been less than the job gains in the rest of the state