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Montana 2017 Labor Day Report

September 6, 2017View for printing

Over the last eight years, Montana and the rest of the nation have seen steady economic growth, making this one of the longest economic expansions in recorded history.

While this expansion has been slow at times, the slow and steady pace increases the likelihood that the economy will continue to grow.

The long and consistent growth over the past several years has benefitted Montana businesses and workers alike. Montana's economy continues its prosperity in 2017, with growth in the western half of the state exceeding expectations. Our entrepreneurs continue to be among the best in the nation for new business startups and for the successful launch of businesses. Workers have experienced real wage growth faster than the national average over the last ten years, allowing families to achieve a higher standard of living.

* Over 504,500 Montanans were employed in 2016, and the state's unemployment rate of 4.1% was the 16th lowest in the nation.

* Montana's industry diversity supported the state's economy in 2016, with gains in the service sector in western Montana outweighing losses in eastern Montana from mining and energy.

* Montana is the fastest growing state for manufacturing GDP in the nation. Manufacturing GDP was $3.2 billion in 2016, over $1.2 billion more than the industry's 2011 contribution.

* Montana continues to outperform for entrepreneurialism, with over 50,000 workers employed in businesses that did not exist five years ago. Montana has the 4th highest rate of net business creation among employing businesses, and is first in the nation for the percentage of households reporting income from a farm or business.

* Personal income increased by 2.3% over the last year, faster than our neighboring states of Wyoming and North Dakota. Montana's personal income growth has been accelerating since the 4th quarter of 2015, putting us on track to exceed the U.S. growth in 2017.

* Montana added 6,480 jobs over the last year, with strong job gains in healthcare. The healthcare industry has added over 2,150 jobs over the last year and roughly 7,300 jobs during the last five years.

* Montana's wages have been increasing faster than the national average for most of the last ten years, with the state ranking 4th in the nation for wage growth from 2006 to 2016.

Full Report: ... s/LDR17.pdf


Montana Governor Bullock touts low unemployment in economic report

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is touting the state's low unemployment rate as his administration releases its annual Labor Day report on the economy. The report released Tuesday highlights Montana's 4.1 percent unemployment rate in 2016, its $3.2 billion manufacturing sector and its relatively high number of entrepreneurs. Bullock said in a news conference the unemployment rate is ideal and more Montanans are working than ever before. Outgoing Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy repeated past years' warnings that Montana's aging workforce will mean labor shortages without trained younger workers. ... omic-report


Labor Day report shows job growth, challenges

The Treasure State added 6,481 jobs in 2016, a growth of 1.3 percent from the year before, and more than 504,500 Montanans had jobs in 2016, according to the Montana 2017 Labor Day Report released Tuesday.

But the state faces challenges as baby boomers move out of the workforce without younger workers to replace them, frustrating businesses, officials said.

Phil Drake, ... /635057001/
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