Montana's unemployment rate dropped 0.3 percentage points in April to 4.8 percent, marking the first time in five years that Montana's unemployment rate has been below 5 percent. The U.S. unemployment rate also posted a large decline of 0.4 percentage points to 6.3 percent.
"Montana has added nearly 10,000 jobs since the start of the year; a sign that Main Street businesses are feeling confident and workers are back on the job," Governor Steve Bullock said.
"We'll continue to work to ensure that businesses have the tools and support to succeed, and workers have the training to fill the jobs that are being created."
"I am pleased that Montana's unemployment rate is back down to pre-recession levels," said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy. "With the economy strengthening, and increased hiring, the Department of Labor and Industry will continue our work to quickly train workers to meet the needs of Montana employers."
Total employment, which includes payroll employment plus agricultural and self-employedworkers, added 1,403 jobs in April to bring the total job growth since the start of 2014 to 9,881 jobs. The labor force shrunk slightly by 259 workers after three months of adding workers to the labor force. The number of unemployed workers decreased by 1,662 people over the last month. Payroll employment estimates signals small job loss of 400 jobs, with losses in the leisure and hospitality industry. Differences between payroll and total job growth estimates are not unusual on a month to month basis; both data series are tracking positive job growth over the past year.
The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3 percent in April. A 0.3percent increase is larger than usual compared to the low inflation rates of recent years, but still within moderate levels. The price increase was primarily due to an increase in the price of gasoline, which increased 2.3 percent over the month. Core inflation, measured by the all items less food and energy index, rose by 0.2 percent.