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Montana adds 1,300 jobs

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Unemployment rate sees slight increase

HELENA – Montana’s economy added 1,300 jobs in May, the largest number added in a month since before the recession.

However, more job openings and better economic conditions encouraged more people to enter the labor market, said Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. That caused the unemployment rate to increase from 0.2 percent to 6.3 percent.

Total employment estimates, which include payroll, self-employed and agricultural workers, indicate job growth of 1,290 in May, a gain of 8,600 over the last year. Payroll employment estimates indicated even stronger job growth of 3,800 jobs, but the payroll employment estimates are fairly volatile on a month-to-month basis. Construction and Retail Trade both posted strong job gains over the month.

The national rate also increased slightly by 0.1 percent, ending at 8.2 percent for May.

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