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Rural areas left out of Montana's rapid job growth

 


By DAVID ERICKSON

Missoulian

MISSOULA (AP) — There’s a stark difference in the job growth around the Montana cities of Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, Kalispell and Helena compared to the rural areas in the state.

Huge portions of rural Montana are being left behind as the state’s economic growth — which is hotter than the U.S. overall — is restricted almost exclusively to counties with larger urban areas.

There are 56 counties in Montana, but from 2000-2016, just five counties have captured 75 percent of new jobs, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

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