HELENA-The state’s economy is strong, that is according to the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

Labor and Industry Commissioner Pam Bucy and Governor Steve Bullock presented the 2017 Labor Day Report at the capitol today.

The annual report is compiled by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry to provide a detailed examination of the economic performance of the state.

According to the report, the state’s unemployment rate is well below the national average at 4.1%, and wage growth is the 4th highest in the nation.

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Montana’s industries saw a net growth of jobs, with more added than were lost. Mining lost the most at 1,200 jobs, and Healthcare gained the most at 2,150 jobs.

The report says that Montana is the fastest growing manufacturing sector in the country with $317 million gained GDP(gross domestic product).

Governor Bullock also stressed the growth in apprenticeships we’ve seen throughout the state and the career opportunities those apprenticeships offer.

“What it really does is affords individuals the opportunities to learn skills while they’re working and get a professional credential,” said Bullock.

Commissioner Bucy echoed the statement adding, “Our state is a beacon for other states to look towards because of our innovative work-based learning initiatives, including a robust and growing registered apprenticeship program.”

The Labor Day report also laid out how Montanan wages compare to the rest of the country placing the state as having the 7th lowest median hourly wage compared tot the rest of the country.

Another issue Montana faces is a worker shortage. If trends hold true, the problem will only get worse over the next ten years.

To read the report in its entirely click here.