Unemployment creeps up in Custer County

Star Staff

The unemployment rate inched up to 3.1 percent in Custer County in June, according to data released last week by the Montana Department of Labor and Industry.

That’s a .5 percent increase over May, but still .9 percent better than in June 2016. 

The Department 6,081 Custer County residents were employed in May, compared to 5,899 in June.

Employment figures for Custer County, which had the 10th lowest unemployment rate among Montana’s 56 counties, compares favorably to most other area counties. Other local rates Include Prairie (21st; 3.4 percent), Dawson (26th; 3.5 percent), and Wibaux (27th; 3.6 percent).

Powder River County can boast the second-lowest rate in the state at 2.0 percent in June, while Rosebud County checked in at a dismal 48th at 4.6 percent.

The state jobless rate also increased, rising to 4.4 percent in June. up .1 percent over the prior month.

That slight rise was of no concern to Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who noted in a news release that 6,700 new jobs were added statewide since June 2016.

“Montana’s economy continues to grow and diversify and more Main Street Montana businesses are expanding and hiring more workers,” Bullock said. “As summer kicks into high gear, we are continuing to find new ways to ensure Montana businesses have a steady pipeline of skilled workers to fill good-paying jobs.”