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June Montana employment signals mixed

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The national economy and slowing federal investments in recovery projects continues to affect Montana, with the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate increasing slightly by 0.2 to 7.5 percent. Despite the uptick in the unemployment rate for the month, Montana’s economy remains on the path to recovery, with about 3,000 jobs added in the last quarter. National figures also indicate slower job growth in June, with the U.S. unemployment rate increasing by 0.1 to 9.2 percent for June.

“The U.S. economic recovery has slowed in recent months, which has hampered Montana’s economic recovery,” says Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly.

Seasonally adjusted total non-farm payroll employment increased by 1,000 in June. The number of payroll jobs has increased by 3,100 in the last quarter. The estimate for the total number of Montanans who are working, including agricultural, payroll, and self-employed workers, decreased by 900 in June. Even with the small job loss for the month, total job levels for the second quarter of 2011 were 2,900 above the previous quarter.

The seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) decreased 0.2 percent in June because of fall in the energy index as gasoline prices decreased from their recent highs. The index for all items less food and energy (also called core inflation) increased by 0.3 percent for the second straight month.

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