Flathead jobless rate up slightly

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Flathead County posted an unemployment rate of 5.2 in June, up slightly from 4.7 percent in May.

The state Department of Labor showed 43,041 people working in the county, and said Flathead added 696 jobs in the past year.

For other Northwest Montana counties, the June unemployment rates were: Lincoln 8.9 percent, Lake 4.9 percent, Sanders 7.3 percent and Mineral 7 percent.

The lowest county unemployment rate was in Sheridan County, which posted 1.9 percent unemployment.

Montana’s unemployment rate remained unchanged in June at 3.9 percent.  Employment levels in Montana continued to rise over the month, but the unemployment rate held steady due to growth in the labor force. The U.S. unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.3 percent.

“Montana’s economy continues to grow, adding roughly 8,800 jobs in the first half of 2015,” Gov. Steve Bullock said in a press release.

Montana’s total employment levels continued to grow, increasing by a few hundred jobs in June, for a total of 12,193 jobs added over the last 12 months and total employment of 504,627. Total employment estimates include payroll employment, plus agricultural and self-employed workers. Payroll employment fell over the month, but has still posted a gain of 2,100 jobs since the beginning of the year.

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