Posted: Sep 16, 2011 9:30 PM by Jay Kohn - Q2 News
HELENA - Montana's unemployment rate inched up by one tenth of one percent last month to 7.8 percent.
At the same time, the national unemployment rate held steady at 9.1 percent.
State Labor Department senior economist Barbara Wagner tells Q2 News that the slight increase in Montana unemployment translates to a loss of approximately 380 jobs statewide.
To put those 380 jobs into perspective, Wagner says they represent less than one half of one percet of all the jobs in Montana.
Wagner blames the decline in job growth in part to high gas prices this summer. Spending more at the pump, Wagner explained. left consumers with less to spend on clothing and groceries. She also said the contentious debate over increasing the nation's debt limit, also contributed to a lack in consumer confidence in the nation's economy.
Wagner says in reality, the new unemployment numbers show that Montana's jobs picture remains virtually unchanged from July thru August.