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Unemployment rate sets record low

by The Western News
| April 19, 2022 7:00 AM

Montana’s unemployment rate fell in March to a new record low of 2.3%, the fourth lowest rate in the nation, Gov. Greg Gianforte's office said in a release Friday.

Montana’s labor force and total employment remain at record highs, but inflation has reached a 41-year high, undermining Montanans’ wage growth and threatening Montana job creation and economic growth, the release said.

“Because of Montanans’ hard work, we’re at our lowest unemployment rate ever, and more Montanans are working than ever before,” Gianforte said in the release.

“While Montana’s rapid economic growth has lowered our unemployment rate and driven wage growth, a well-skilled workforce has never been more important," he added. "We’ll keep working with Montana’s employers to bring new people into the workforce and make sure they get the training and skills they need to succeed, thrive, and prosper.”

Since Gianforte was elected, Montana’s unemployment rate has dropped from 4.2% to 2.3%. Four of the five months with the lowest unemployment rate in Montana history have been on the governor's watch – March 2022, February 2022, January 2022, and November 2021, according to the release.

The unemployment rate in March for the U.S. was at 3.6%, the release said.

Meanwhile, the release said, Montana’s labor force is also at its highest level ever recorded at 558,466; in March, roughly 2,105 new workers entered the state's labor force.

Also in March, 1,162 fewer Montanan residents were unemployed than in February, and the number of unemployed Montanans has fallen by more than 42 percent, from 21,764 to 13,106, according to the release.

Last week, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that inflation has increased 8.5% in the past 12 months, marking the highest annual increase since 1981.

“At a 41-year high, inflation is robbing Montanans of their hard-earned money and erasing gains they’re getting with their take-home pay,” Gianforte said in the release. “It’s far past time for the Biden administration to stop passing the buck and get inflation under control.”