Montana unemployment rate up slightly to 4.5 percent in July



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HELENA, Montana — Montana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.6 percent in July.

The state Labor Department says the national unemployment rate also increased by 0.1 percentage points last month, to 6.2 percent.

More than 12,000 jobs have been created in Montana since the beginning of 2014 and the unemployment rate has fallen by 0.7 percentage points over the same time.

Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy says strong job creation and more Montanans returning to the workforce shows increasing optimism about the state's economy.

Officials say payroll employment estimates suggest Montana added 3,100 jobs in July, but total employment — including agricultural jobs and the self-employed — left that increase at 159 jobs. State officials say 577 people joined the workforce last month.

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