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Bullock emphasizes the need for a healthy workforce to have a healthy economy

Governor Steve Bullock announced Montana ranks 6th in the nation on employment performance since the pre-COVID-19 recession peak and emphasized the need for a healthy workforce to have a healthy economy as COVID-19 cases increase.

“A healthy economy is truly reliant on a healthy population – and a healthy population relies on masking up, avoiding large gatherings, staying home when sick, and following quarantine orders from your local health department,” Governor Bullock said. “By taking these steps, we can keep Montana’s workers and business owners healthy and safe, allowing our economic recovery to continue.”

The data is tracked on a new comparative performance dashboard published by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry. The new addition to DLI’s Job Tracking dashboard tracks state comparisons on a variety of metrics, in addition to county and industry comparisons. Montana continues to outperform the national economy in recovery from the pandemic.

Data highlights on the dashboard include:

•Montana’s job loss from the February peak to the April trough was smaller than other states, only down 11.6% compared to the national loss of 16%. The shorter duration of Montana’s shutdown helped to moderate employment losses.

•Montana’s job growth since April has been strong, gaining 9.2% and ranking 20th among states.

Other highlights of Montana’s economic recovery are:

•Montana ranks 11th among states for best performance in total employment over the last year (Aug 2019 to Aug 2020, in LAUS total employment).

•Montana’s August payroll job level is 5.7% lower than its February level, compared to the U.S. payroll jobs level, which is 7.6% lower than in February.

On Sept. 18, Montana’s unemployment rate for August was released at 5.6%, the 7th lowest in the nation, and well below the national rate of 8.4%. Visit the Department of Labor & Industry’s Labor Market Information website at for additional information and analysis, including industry employment levels, background on the unemployment rate, and wage rates by occupation. Visit for Montana unemployment claims and economic data for the current recession.

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