HELENA – Governor Steve Bullock was joined by Lt. Governor Mike Cooney and Montana Department of Labor & Industry Commissioner Galen Hollenbaugh to present the 2018 Labor Day Report on Tuesday at Blackfoot River Brewing Company in Helena.
The annual report is compiled by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry with this year’s highlights included entrepreneurs, real GDP and job growth in the state.
“Unemployment remains low, wages are growing, Montana entrepreneurs are more likely to be successful than businesses nationally, and we’re seeing growth in diverse industries,” said Governor Bullock.
According to the Labor Day Report, Montana’s economy is continuing to grow with real GDP growth outpacing the nation in the last 10 years, adding an average of $522 million per year. Montana’s total nominal GDP in 2017 was $48 billion.
In 2017 Montana posted the 4th fastest wage growth in the nation, the state added 4,600 jobs and 2,940 establishments were formed by Montana entrepreneurs.
Registered apprenticeships saw an increase of more than 30 percent over the last 5 years and there are 1,820 active apprentices in the state.
There are 21 apprenticeable occupations in healthcare and Bullock said healthcare continues to have a significant need for employees in Montana.
“Healthcare, not only because of [Montana’s] aging population, will continue to be significant to our state and that’s an area we know there is a meaningful worker shortage” said Bullock.
Bullock also praised the state’s commitment to apprenticeship programs and how they help workers remain in Montana.
“Now that’s not to take the kids or students out of college,” said Bullock, “But it’s to recognize that there’s a path to economic success through workplace learning. That not only gives the employer the skills that they need, but also that employee that chance for progression. “
Commissioner Hollenbaugh said Montana registered apprenticeships are only possible through the support and commitment of Montana businesses.
“We’ve seen first-hand how the Montana Registered Apprenticeship Program provides a pathway to in-demand jobs that pay well,” Commissioner Galen Hollenbaugh said. “Through industry-driven partnerships across Montana, we’re providing workers with the skills and experience they need to thrive.”
Women in apprenticeship positions have increased and now make up 18 percent of new apprentices compared to 3 percent in 2013
Over the next 10 years Montana is expected to experience a worker shortage with and anticipated 100,000 people retiring in the state and only and estimated 86,000 to fill the void.
“If we look at demographics and not just continued growth of business, we certainly need additional people to come into Montana,” said Bullock, “And that doesn’t necessarily account for the additional growing businesses we have.”
Click here to read the complete report (PDF).