The number of people working in Montana went down in August, but the jobless rate also declined slightly, from 6.4 percent to 6.3 percent.
Montana followed the national trend — fewer jobs and lower unemployment. This often happens because people get discouraged and leave the workplace.
The national jobless rate fell from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent during August.
“Like last year, Montana’s employment figures held steady during the summer months, ” said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. “Overall, we expect Montana to continue its employment growth after this summer. About 8,000 jobs have been added during the past year, posting fairly rapid job growth of 1.7 percent. ”
During August, the number of jobs in the state went down by 308, while the work force declined by 407 workers.
Payroll employment figures painted a more optimistic picture for the month, adding 1,900 workers in August, Kelly said. Private employment growth comprises nearly all of the payroll employment gains over the past year.
The employment picture was brighter on the Hi-Line:
• Blaine County posted a 5.7 percent jobless rate, down from 5.8 percent a month before. A total of 152 people were out of work.
• Chouteau County has a 3.8 percent rate, down from 4.1 percent a month earlier. In all, 99 people were jobless.
• Hill County came in with a 5.7 percent jobless rate, a decrease from 5.8 percent last month. A total of 493 people were jobless.
• Liberty County's rate dropped from 6.1 percent in July to 5.8 percent in August. A total of 46 people were jobless.