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Jobless rate declines in state, along the Hi-Line


Montana's unemployment rate dropped by 0.5 percentage points in November, bringing the rate down to 7.1 percent.

This was the third month in a row that Montana's rate went down.

The statewide drop was reflected in the figures along the Hi-Line. For the third month in a row, the jobless rate declined in three of four counties in the region and stayed stable in the fourth. The U. S. unemployment rate also experienced a large decrease, dropping 0.4 percent to 8.6 percent in November.

"Montana's economy continues to recover, and the pace of job growth is improving. It is nice to share positive economic news during the holiday season, " said state Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly.

The drop in Montana's unemployment rate is primarily due to an increase of about 1,730 jobs over the last month. The number of unemployed fell 2,230 over the last month, Kelly said. Total employment estimates have posted job growth throughout 2011, with the exception of the third quarter.

Payroll employment estimates, however, indicate a drop of 2,600 jobs over the month, with employment losses concentrated in government, construction, arts, entertainment and recreation.

Contradictory results from the two employment estimates are not unusual because of a small sample size, Kelly said. Estimates are regularly revised in the following month when additional employment information becomes available. Both the total and payroll employment estimates have indicated job growth over the past year.

Along the Hi-Line

  • Blaine County's jobless rate was 5.5 percent, down from 5.9 percent in October and 5.8 in September. A total of 162 people were out of work.
  • Chouteau County had 115 people out of work, for a 4.0 percent rate. that compares to 4.6 percent in September and 4.2 percent in October.
  • Hill County had 472 people out of work. That amounts to 5.3 percent of the work force, down from 5.4 percent in October and 5.6 percent in September.
  • In Liberty County, 33 people were out of work, amounting to 4.1 percent of the work force. The rate was 4.1 percent in October and 4.7 percent in September.


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