Montana's jobless rate increased slightly in August, while the jobless picture on the Hi-Line improved somewhat.
Statewide, 7.8 percent of the work force was jobless, up. 1 percent. Nationwide, the jobless rate held steady at 9.1 percent.
“After job gains in the first half of 2011, Montana’s economy slowed in the third quarter and shed some of the jobs added earlier in the year, ” said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. “Montana’s economic recovery continues, but job growth is slow and unsteady. ”
Total employment estimates that include payroll, self-employed and agricultural workers indicate a very small job loss of approximately 380 jobs. Payroll employment estimates indicate a job loss of 1,900 jobs.
On the Hi-Line:
Payroll employment estimates are often more volatile than the total employment estimates.
• In Blaine County, the jobless rate dropped to 6.4 percent from 6.7 percent. A total of 178 people were out of work.
• Chouteau's rate declined from 5 percent to 4.5 percent. A total of 118 people were jobless.
• Hill County's jobless rate declined from 6.5 percent to 6.4 percent. In all, 557 people were jobless.