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Montana Unemployment Rate Down to 5.2%

Press Release

Location: Helena, MT

Montana's unemployment rate dropped down to 5.2 percent in October after holding at 5.3 percent
since July. The national unemployment rate was 7.3 percent in October. The federal government shutdown prevented the release of labor market information last month.

"Montana's businesses and workers are leading the nation in our economic recovery, as the state's unemployment rate steadily improves," Governor Steve Bullock said. "The Montana work-ethic, and entrepreneurial spirit continues to give our state an economic advantage."

"Montana added about 750 jobs in September, suggesting that the economy is continuing its upswing despite the rancor in Washington," said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy.

Total employment, which includes payroll employment plus agricultural and self-employed workers, added 767 jobs in September, but posted a 57 job loss in October. Over-the-year total employment gains remain positive, with Montana adding 1,722 jobs since October of 2012, for a growth rate of 0.4 percent. Although employment continues to expand in Montana during 2013, the job growth rate this year is slower than the above-average job growth of 2.2 percent during 2012. Data from both September and October months are highlighted in this release.

Payroll employment estimates suggest small job losses in both September and October of 800 jobs and 400 jobs, respectively. Job losses for October occurred fully within government employment, likely a result of the federal government shutdown. September job losses occurred in the Professional and Business Services Industry, which has generally posted rapid job growth throughout the last year. Employment in Professional and Business Services remains roughly 2,000 jobs higher than last year with a rapid growth rate of 4.4 percent over the year.

Prices fell by 0.1 percent in October due to a 2.9 percent decline in gasoline prices. In September, energy prices drove up consumer prices by 0.2 percent, so prices have been fairly flat over the two month period. Core inflation, measured by the all items less food and energy index, rose by 0.1 percent in both September and October

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