Montana hits record employment as

unemployment rate falls to 3.1%

Labor force continues post-pandemic growth, number of unemployed lowest since 2007

Submitted by
Brooke Stroyke,
Office of the Governor

Jessica Nelson,
Department of Labor
and Industry


Governor Greg Gianforte announced on Friday, Nov. 19, the number of employed Montanans hit an all-time high in October as Montana’s unemployment rate fell to 3.1%, a low achieved only six times over the last 45 years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Total employment grew by nearly 2,400 jobs while the labor force expanded by nearly 1,200 workers.

“By opening Montana for business, we have more Montanans working than ever before,” Governor Greg Gianforte said. “We’ll continue enacting policies that create more Montana jobs, increase opportunities, and bring the American dream into greater reach for more Montanans.”

Since Governor Gianforte was elected in Nov. 2020, Montana’s unemployment rate has dropped from 4.5% to 3.1%, a low not seen since April of 2007.

The state’s unemployment rate of 3.1% in October is down from 3.3% in September and down from 11.9% in April of 2020. The lowest unemployment rate ever recorded in Montana was 2.8% in February of 2007.

Montana’s unemployment rate of 3.1% is below the national rate of 4.6%.

The number of employed Montanans hit a new record high of 525,220 in October. Montana’s total employment, which includes payroll, agricultural, and self-employed workers, grew by 2,395 in October, continuing the strong job growth posted since March.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed Montanans fell to 16,908, the lowest number of job seekers without work since 2007.

The number of available workers in Montana’s labor force, a critical metric of concern during the current nationwide labor shortage, increased by 1,199. Private payroll job levels increased by 1,100 over the month, with a small decline in public sector employment.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.9% in October with broad-based increases in most goods. Gasoline prices increased 6.1%. The index for all items less food and energy, referred to as core inflation and an important metric for future inflation expectations, increased 0.6% in September.


EPA makes progress towards deleting OU6 at the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site

Submitted by Beth

Archer, US EPA Region 8


EPA is making progress towards partially deleting Operable Unit 6 of the Libby Asbestos Superfund Site, which includes BNSF-owned and operated railyards in the towns of Libby and Troy and approximately 41 miles of railroad right-of-way, since no additional remedial action is needed.

The agency anticipates proposing to delete this operable unit in 2022 which will include a public notice and a 30 day public comment period.

In July 2021, EPA finalized an Explanation of Significant Differences for Operable Unit 6 (OU6) which memorializes institutional controls for the BNSF Rail Corridor.

Institutional controls are in place and OU6 transitioned into the operations and maintenance period as of Oct. 1, 2021. BNSF Railway will take the lead on operations and maintenance and they will prepare annual inspection reports for EPA and Montana Department of Environmental Quality review. EPA will conduct another five-year review of the entire Libby Asbestos Superfund Site in 2025.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to EPA Region 8 with any questions. You can also read the OU6 July 2021 Explanation of Significant Differences online at 690. You can read the related OU6 April 2021 Institutional Control and Implementation Plan online at 10456.

Troy Library and Job Service team up to

offer Workshop Wednesdays in


Inviting jobseekers to formulate their future


Submitted by Sharee Miller


Lincoln County Library’s Troy Branch and Job Service Libby have teamed up to offer a three-part workshop series in December for job seekers.

They have teamed up to address Troy’s suggested need for job service programs. An overwhelming 75% of Troy Library and Opportunity Center community surveys that were returned requested job search and resume writing classes to be offered in the future T.L.O.C. facility. In response Lincoln County’s Troy Branch reached out to Shellie DeLeo, Workforce Consultant, at Montana Department of Labor & Industry Job Service Libby, and they began planning ways they could make these opportunities available in Troy now.

“We thought why wait for the building to offer this service if we can make it work now?” said Sharee Miller Troy Branch Librarian.

“These are exactly the type of positive impact partnerships that have been developed during our Troy Library and Opportunity Center project planning. We hope this workshop series will be just the beginning of programs that we can offer to the Troy community,” said Miller

The workshop series will consist of the following programs offered at the Troy Library and Kalispell in December. Available computers are limited, so if possible bring your own laptop.

  • Wednesday, Dec., 8 from 4 until 6 p.m.- Resume Writing and Repair/Application and Cover Letter. Walk away with a usable application cover letter and resume.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 4 until 6 p.m..-Navigating Job Searches. Learn the ins and outs of job searching, conduct a job search, and explore some unconventional job search techniques.
  • Wednesday, Dec 22 from 4 until 6 p.m.- Interview Essentials-Hard/Soft Skills – Brush up interview skills and learn new skills too.

In addition, Lincoln County Library Troy has a job box available that is updated weekly by Job Service Libby with information on current job openings in Lincoln County, and generic application forms.