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County Ranks 45th In State For Unemployment

When the state released the current unemployment rates in Montana last week, Roosevelt County ranked 45th out of Montana’s 56 counties with an unemployment rate of 3.2 percent.

Counties tying for the lowest unemployment rate at 1.5 percent were Sheridan, McCone, Fallon and Carter.

Daniels placed sixth at 1.7 percent and Dawson was eighth at 1.8 percent.

The state’s overall unemployment rate is 2.8 percent.

Although the reported rate for Roosevelt County isn’t bad, it’s not as low as other eastern Montana counties.

Roosevelt County Commissioner Gary Macdonald feels the figures aren’t accurate because some individuals who are unemployed aren’t counted on the report.

“We know the unemployment level is higher than that,” Macdonald said.

Macdonald and commissioner Robert Toavs agree that there are plenty of jobs available in the county, as well as the entire state.

“There are definitely jobs available,” Toavs said.

Macdonald added, “Just look at the paper.”

They also noted help wanted signs that they see at various businesses.

There are currently county positions open in law enforcement, road department, aging and the health department.

Counties with the highest unemployment are Mineral at 4.8, Lincoln at 4.7, Glacier at 4.7, Sanders at 4.5 and Big Horn at 4.0 percent.

Unemployment rates for reservations include Flathead at 3, Fort Peck at 4, Crow at 6, Rocky Boy at 6.5, Northern Cheyenne at 7.2 and Fort Belknap at 7.4 percent.

Montana added 2,800 payroll jobs in December, with broad-based job gains led by the professional and business services and retail trade industries. Over the course of 2022, Montana set several records for low unemployment, labor force growth and total employment.

“Thanks to the hard work of Montanans and our pro-business, progrowth, pro-jobs policies, 2022 was a year of record-setting economic growth for Montana,” Gov. Greg Gianforte said in a press release. “In the year ahead, we’ll continue to cut red tape and other unnecessary burdens on small businesses, create good-paying Montana jobs, and invest in our workforce to ensure Montana workers have the skills they need to succeed and thrive.”

Total employment rose by nearly 1,400 jobs in December to a new record high of over 553,000 jobs.

Montana’s unemployment rate set new records in 2022, reaching 2.3 percent in March and April, the lowest level ever recorded. Montana’s unemployment rate has dipped below 3 percent in just 16 months since record keeping began.

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