Montana’s unemployment rate was at 11.3% in April due to impacts created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Montana unemployment rate remains below the national rate of 14.7% in April.

Montana’s unemployment rate for the month of April was captured on April 12 during the stay at home order. Total employment, which includes agricultural, payroll, and self-employed workers, decreased by 55,766 jobs in April. Since the unemployment rate was calculated in April, a significant number of Montanans are returning to work. Nearly 18,000 Montanans have already returned to work since the state began reopening.

DLI has issued $376 million in unemployment benefits since March 16.

Montana was among the first states in the nation to begin processing claims for those who are self-employed. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry has worked diligently to process an unprecedented number of unemployment insurance claims and implement new programs issued by the federal government to provide an extra $600 a week benefit, to extend the length of time individuals can receive benefits, and offering unemployment insurance for self-employed and other individuals typically not eligible for benefits.

Leisure activities, which includes hotels, restaurants, movie theaters, and other entertainment and recreation businesses, was the hardest hit, with losses approaching nearly half of their total employment and exceeding 32,000 jobs. All industries posted losses except the federal government.

The most up-to-date claims and economic information, including county impacts, can be found at DLI’s job tracking website at lmi.mt.gov/home/job-tracking.

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) fell 0.8% in April, with the sharpest decrease in gasoline prices. Prices for apparel, airline fares, lodging away from home, and vehicle insurance also contributed to the decline. The index for all items less food and energy, also called core inflation, fell by 0.4%.