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Montana’s unemployment rate drops to 4.0 percent

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News from Montana Department of Labor and Industry

HELENA – Montana’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.0 percent in April.Over the month of April, Montana’s unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points from the revised March unemployment rate of 4.2 percent. Montana’s unemployment rate has not been this low since September 2007. The U.S. unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 5.4 percent in April.

 “We expect strong wage growth to continue in 2015 as Montana businesses increase wages to recruit workers in this low unemployment rate environment,” said Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy. “In today’s tight labor market, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry is committed to helping prepare Montana’s workforce for tomorrow’s jobs, so that businesses can count on their workforce to ensure strong economic growth in the years to come.”

Montana’s total employment levels continued to grow, increasing by 1,299 jobs in April, for a total of 10,729 jobs added over the last twelve months. Total employment estimates include payroll employment, plus agricultural and self-employed workers. Payroll employment estimates indicate a similar gain of 1,100 jobs over the month, bouncing back from a loss of 300 jobs last month.

The Consumer Price Index for all Urban consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in April. Energy prices fell over the month, while food prices remained unchanged. Over the last 12 months, the CPI-U has declined 0.2 percent, largely due to a sharp decline in gasoline prices compared to last year. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, rose 0.3 percent in April to reflect increases in the price of shelter, medical care, and transportation. 

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