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Lincoln County jobless rate remains at 11.5 percent

by Alan Lewis Gerstenecker — Editor
| July 2, 2013 5:43 PM

It takes about two weeks for statistics for the newly unemployed to be figured in county computations, and for that reason, the May jobless numbers in Lincoln County remained at 11.5 percent for May.

The May figures did not vary from the April numbers, but that should change when the June figures are reported later this month, said Kootenai Job Service Manager Johnette Watkins.

“It was probably too close to the end of the month,” Watkins said of the approximate 100 persons who were laid off from the Troy Mine the week before Memorial Day. “It takes just about two weeks (for the numbers to be represented).”

In Lincoln County, there is a labor force of 7,688 with 6,802 employed, leaving the 886 searching for work.

Nearby Sanders County, that most-often is comparative with Lincoln County for the highest jobless rate, posted a rate of just 10 percent.

“It looks like Sanders County had a 2½ percent hiring in seasonal work while Lincoln County had a 1½ percent hiring rate of seasonals,” said Aaron McNay, an economist with the state. “There could be other reasons, but that’s certainly a factor.” 

Meanwhile, the state’s jobless rate fell slightly to 5.4 percent in May, down by 0.1 percentage point from April, continuing the long-term downward trend that has occurred since mid-2010.  The national rate increased slightly by 0.1 percentage point to 7.6 percent.

“Montana has added more than 2,500 jobs in the last two months, continuing the strong employment growth experienced in 2012,” said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy. “Montana’s unemployment rate continues to fall, and Montanans are back to work.”

Total employment increased by 1,740 during the month, the largest monthly job increase of 2013.  

Payroll employment estimates showed slightly larger employment growth of 2,100 jobs, posting employment gains in most industries.   

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased marginally by 0.1 percent in May after two months of price deflation.  The energy index increased slightly, with electricity and natural gas indexes accounting for the rise, while gasoline prices remained flat.  

Core inflation, measured by the all items less food and energy index, rose by 0.2 percentage points. 

The margin of error for the unemployment rate is plus or minus 0.8 percentage points at the 90 percent confidence level.

Unemployment figures are seasonally adjusted, and they remove the effects of events that follow a more or less regular month-to-month pattern each year.