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Lumber jobs are down, while construction grows

HELENA - Scott Durden is one of the lucky ones. Laid off at a Eureka lumber mill four years ago, he found another job that kept his family fed until he was called back to work at Owens & Hurst Lumber a year ago.

Despite that good fortune, Durden has no illusions of a secure future in an industry plagued by steadily falling employment.

''I don't feel like the timber industry is very stable,'' he said. ''It just seems like it's day to day.''

The wood products business, where employment dropped almost 5 percent last year, is part of the reason for a steep decline in manufacturing jobs since 20...


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