Montana’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate continued to decrease in April, moving to 7.3 percent from 7.4 percent in March. The U.S. unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percent to 9.0 percent.

“Continued private sector job growth of over 1,300 jobs lowered the unemployment rate for the month,” says Labor Commissioner Keith Kelly. “Total employment has increased every month since the start of the year, indicating that Montana economy is firmly on the path to recovery.”

The estimate for the total number of Montanans who are working, including agricultural, payroll, and self-employed workers, increased by 1,308 jobs, while the number of unemployed decreased by 217 people. Seasonally adjusted total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 1,000 over the month, with all of the job gain in the private sector. Government employment has remained at the same level since February after a year-long decline in public sector employment.

The seasonally adjusted Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased by 0.4 percent in April, lead by large increases in the gasoline index. Indexes making major contributions to the rise in core inflation included new and used vehicles, medical care, and shelter.

*Unemployment figures are seasonally-adjusted. Seasonally-adjusted numbers remove the effects of events that follow a more or less regular month-to-month pattern each year. These adjustments make nonseasonal patterns easier to identify. The margin of error for the unemployment rate is plus or minus 1.0 percentage points at the 90 percent confidence level. All questions relating to the calculation of unemployment rates should be directed to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry’s Research and Analysis Bureau at 1-800-541-3904.

The May 2011 Labor Situation Report will be released on Friday, June 17, 2011.

Monthly labor force information for Montana counties are available at: ourfactsyourfuture.org/cgi/dataanalysis/?PAGEID=94&SUBID=205

Monthly Montana industry employment information is available at: ourfactsyourfuture.org/cgi/dataanalysis/?PAGEID=94&SUBID=199

Annual labor force data for Indian Reservations in Montana are available at: ourfactsyourfuture.org/?PAGEID=67&SUBID=121