Montana’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.1% to 7.7% in September. The U.S. unemployment rate again held steady at 9.1%.
Generally jobs decline and unemployment rises in the region as winter conditions set in, however Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly said that while there were job gains in the first half of 2011, Montana’s economy slowed in the third quarter. He explained that while the job gains posted in September suggest that we are still on the recovery path and commented “We look forward to stronger job gains in the coming months.”
The private sector has posted fairly strong job growth throughout 2010 and 2011, but continued government job losses have prevented unemployment from declining more significantly.
The seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.3% in September, led by increases in the energy and food indexes. The CPI-U increased by 3.9% over the last year. The index for all items less food and energy (also called core inflation) increased by 0.1%, the smallest increase since March.
Statewide, Sanders county unemployment continued with the state’s highest rate with a statewide high of 13.3, down quite a ways from 14.7% last month. The second highest in the state is still Lincoln county. Lincoln was down a full point to 13% even from 14.%. Eleven, up from seven, counties are now separating the statewide high from the high in the east. Rosebud County for fifth month in a row held the eastern, but it is down over two points from last month. Rosbud is at 7.8%, down from 9.9% unemployment. Second highest in the east is Roosevelt County, that county is also down by nearly two points. They are at 7% even down from 9.1%.
Statewide and in the east Fallon County boasts the lowest unemployment in Montana. Fallon County at 2.8%, up from 2.5% unemployment last month. McCone county replaced Carter county as the second lowest in the state at 3.1% down from 3.4% last month.
These are the unemployment rates for remainder of eastern Montana Counties:
Carter County is up to 3.7% from 3.1%.
Custer County held at 4.3%.
Daniels is up to 5.1% from 4.7%.
Dawson is down slightly to 4.3% from 4.4%.
Garfield is down for a third month to 4.3% from 4.4%.
Powder River is up to 4.9% from 4.8%.
Prairie is down for a fourth month to 3.9% from 4.1%.
Richland is up to 3.5% from 3.3%.
Sheridan is up to 4.0% even from 3.8%.
Treasure is down for a third month to 4.3% from 4.6%.
Valley is down to 5.1% from 5.6%.
and Wibaux County went up for a second month to 3.8% from 3.7% from unemployment.