Montana Public Radio

Megan Myscofski

Megan is a reporter and Morning Edition host who came to us in 2019 from the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. Her academic career focused on audio, business and economics reporting.

Montana Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate, October 2020.
Montana Department of Labor & Industry

The Montana Department of Labor and Industry issued over 20,300 unemployment insurance payments last week, totaling about $8.5 million. That’s down a couple hundred payments from the previous week

The state’s unemployment rate went down 0.5% last month to 4.9%, which is two points below the national rate. 

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks logo on the side of a department truck.
Josh Burnham / Montana Public Radio

Montana's Republican Governor-elect Greg Gianforte announced his transition advisory team for the department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks. 

A press release Monday says the team will review candidates for the next director of FWP. 

Screen capture from a Montana Department of Labor & Industry FAQ page about unemployment benefits.
Montana Department of Labor & Industry

Hundreds of recipients of unemployment insurance through the federal CARES Act are now being asked to give that money back. 

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program is designed for gig workers, the self-employed and other groups not normally eligible for unemployment benefits. The Bozeman Chronicle reported Thursday that recipients are now receiving bills, some for more than $10,000. 

'For Rent' sign in front of a house.

Amid job losses that haven’t fully recovered this year because of the pandemic recession, competition in many of Montana’s housing markets is also on the rise. That means many Montanans are struggling to find and keep housing.

Voters wait in line to cast their ballots outside the Missoula County Election Center on Election Day. Nov 3, 2020
Peyton Butler / Montana Public Radio

Voters in Missoula today dropped off their remaining ballots and stood in long lines to register and vote. MTPR’s Megan Myscofski talked to a few of them at the Missoula County Elections Office and the University of Montana’s ballot drop-off site.

A voter drops off a mail-in ballot with poll worker Vance Bennett at the Missoula Elections Center, October 21, 2020.
Megan Myscofski / Montana Public Radio

The coronavirus pandemic means poll workers’ jobs look a little different this year, as 45 of Montana’s 56 counties switch to all-mail elections, and polling sites adapt to social distancing.

Sign on a business door that says 'Attention: for the safety of our patrons and employees, masks are required for entry. Thank you for helpping slow the spread of COVID-19.'

The vast majority of Montana counties aren’t taking Gov. Steve Bullock up on his offer to help pay for the enforcement of public health guidelines aimed at slowing a surge in COVID-19 cases. It's been two weeks since the governor offered extra support in federal CARES Act funds to pay for counties' enforcement work.*

Montana 2020 Unemployment Claims By Type.
Montana Department of Labor & Industry

Montana has sent over $1 billion in unemployment benefits to residents since the start of the pandemic. The state passed that milestone in October. As unemployment payments climbed during the pandemic, so did fraud.

Sign on a business door saying 'Our Dining Room Is Closed. Order take-out, drive through or for pickup or delivery.

It’s almost that time of year when businesses staff up for the holidays and winter season. But with the pandemic and recession, seasonal hiring will look different in Montana.

August 2020 - Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Rate for the U.S. and Montana.
Montana Department of Labor & Industry

Montana unemployment claims are steadily decreasing and that trend could continue, despite the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the state.