Posted: Mar 29, 2013 1:07 PM by MTN News - Billings
The Montana Department of Labor and Industry reports today that Montana's unemployment rate decreased by a tenth of a percent to 5.6% in February, while the national rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 7.7%.
Montana's unemployment rate has been on a downward trend since the end of 2010. The Labor Department reports economic gains have slowed in recent months because of lower federal government spending and because consumer spending has been constrained by the expiration of the payroll tax cut and higher gasoline prices.
Montana's unemployment rate has remained flat at the 5.6% or 5.7% level for the last four months, with the economy adding about 500 jobs.
"Montana's unemployment rate is moving in the right direction," said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy. "Our economy continues to add jobs despite the headwinds of reduced federal spending, the expiration of the payroll tax break, and higher gasoline prices. I am confident that Montana will keep adding jobs as we head into the summer months."