Montana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady in May at 7.3 percent despite modest job gains. The unemployment rate has decreased from 7.5 percent at the start of the year. The U.S. unemployment rate was also constant at 9.1 percent with small gains in job levels.

“The rate of job growth slowed slightly this month, but we remain on the track to recovery,” says Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. “The trend of private sector job growth that we have seen throughout the last year continues this month, with more than 1,100 private sector jobs added.”

The estimate for the total number of Montanans who are working, including agricultural, payroll, and self-employed workers, increased by 1,088 jobs. Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 500 over the month, with job losses in the public sector cancelling out some of the 1,100 private sector job gain.

The seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.2 percent in May, despite a decrease in the energy index. Gasoline prices decreased for the first time since last June. The index for all items less food and energy (also called core inflation) increased by 0.3 percent, the largest increase since July 2008.