The jobless rate increased on the Hi-Line in December, even as it remained stable statewide.
In each of the four counties in north-central Montana, the rate went up in December.
The seasonally adjusted rate statewide was 7.2 percent in December, the same as it was in November.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate was 9.4 percent, down .4 percentage points.
"Montana's economy continues to add private sector jobs, while government jobs are declining," said state Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. "The private sector has added about 5,700 since the low in May, but job losses in the government sector have caused unemployment to remain fairly level despite strong private sector growth."
Governments have scaled back on employment because of the poor economy and the loss of federal stimulus funds.
• In Hill County, 5.7 percent of the work force was jobless, compared to 5.1 percent in November. A total of 488 people were out of work in Hill County, a rise from 435 a month earlier.
• The jobless rate in Liberty County went up from 5.0 in November to 5.4 percent in December.
• In Chouteau County, 124 people or 4.9 percent of the work force was jobless. That's up from 4.4 percent in November.
• Blaine County's jobless rate was 5.7 percent, up from 5.6 percent in November. A total of 163 Blaine County residents were out of work.