The latest employment numbers for Montana are encouraging.

Both Montana’s labor force and total employment continued to set historic records in May, with the state’s labor force growing by an estimated 2,168 workers and total employment posting gains of 1,559 workers. Both key indicators are at their highest point in Montana’s history.

“We continue to see more and more workers joining Montana’s labor force, an encouraging sign as Montana businesses seek to fill needed positions,” said Laurie Esau, Montana’s Commissioner of Labor & Industry. “Expanding our supply of workers – and ensuring they’re trained with the skills employers need — will be key to continuing the strong economic growth Montana has enjoyed over the last year and a half. More Montanans are working than ever before, and its labor force today is the largest ever.”

Montana’s unemployment rate ticked up 0.1% in May to 2.4%, as labor force growth slightly outpaced total employment. Payroll employment declined slightly by 1,900, with declines primarily in the retail trade and construction industries.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 1.0% over the month, resuming the high pace of inflation.  The 12-month increase of 8.6% was the highest since December 1981. Price increases were broad-based, led by increases in energy costs. The index for all items minus food and energy, also called core inflation, increased by 0.6% for the month.

See the full release here.