MTPR

Montana Department of Labor and Industry

Governor Bullock releases the 2018 Labor Day report, September 4, 2018 in Helena. The report says Montana wages continue to grow but the state faces a looming worker shortage as Baby Boomers retire.
Corin Cates-Carney

Governor Steve Bullock says wages and personal income are growing in Montana. But a worker shortage is adding pressure to the state’s labor force.

The Bullock administration’s yearly report card on the state economy highlights Montana as having the 4th fastest wage growth among states in the last decade, along with real GDP growth over that time that outpaced the nation.

Liberty Place in Whitehall, MT provides homes and life training skills for people who live with brain injuries.
Corin Cates-Carney

Montana ranks among the top three states in the nation per capita for traumatic brain injuries, according to industry workers and advocacy groups. Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs, include strokes, brain infections, or a hit to the head that causes brain damage. 

A team of volunteers rallied to get thousands of pounds of potatoes and bread to Heart Butte after a severe storm stranded the community on New Year's Day.
Courtesy Kathryn Hayes

Hunger is a chronic problem for many families on the Blackfeet Reservation. Grocery stores are few and far between, and the poverty rate is around 40 percent.

Like in any rural area, fresh food especially is expensive. It takes a lot of hours in the car or on the phone to access public assistance programs. But when a severe winter storm blew in around New Year's Eve, the chronic hunger issue became an acute crisis.

Thompson Falls resident Amanda Childers testified before a legislative committee Thursday about how the job training component of Montana's expanded Medicaid program put her on a path to a career in health care.
Eric Whitney

Last week the Trump administration made a historic change to Medicaid, the health coverage program that’s jointly funded by the states and federal government. For the first time, states were given the OK to require Medicaid recipients to work in exchange for health coverage.

Republican lawmakers tried to do that in Montana 2015, but the Obama administration said no.

Montana unemployment rate, November 2017.
Montana Department of Labor and Industry http://lmi.mt.gov/

Montana’s unemployment rate has held steady for most of 2017, and November was no exception. The state's unemployment rate stood at 4 percent last month.

Barbara Wagner, the Montana Department of Labor and Industry’s Chief Economist, says the state’s economy is strong.

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