The unemployment rate in Montana creeped upward in May, but state officials said that was a good thing.
A total of 1,300 jobs were created in the state, the largest number since before the recession began. But that was offset because so many workers who had been so discouraged they had quit looking for jobs have now rejoined the workforce, Montana Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly said.
“The increase in the labor force resulted in an increase in the unemployment rate, ” Kelly said. “We look forward to these new entrants finding work as we continue to add jobs in future months. ”
Montana has gained 8,600 jobs over the last year, Kelly said.
• Blaine County's jobless rate was 5.5 percent, down from 6 percent in April. A total of 157 people were out of work.
• In Chouteau County, 4.1 percent were out of work, up slightly from 4 percent in April. One hundred-thirteen people were jobless.
• Hill County's jobless rate remained stable at 5.4 percent. A total of 469 people were out of work.
• In Liberty County, the unemployment rate was 5.5 percent, compared to 5.5 percent last month.