Montana Public Radio

jobs

A screen capture from Montana's unemployment website, montanaworks.gov, April 01, 2020, telling visitors the unemployment office is experiencing unprecedented call volumes and directing visitors to more resources.
montanaworks.gov

Self employed, gig workers and freelancers in Montana can now file for unemployment benefits under the federal aid package passed by Congress and signed by President Donald Trump last week.

The $2 trillion spending bill aims to provide economic relief amid the novel coronavirus pandemic that’s caused statewide stay-at-home orders and businesses to close their doors.

When Montanans went to the state’s unemployment website to file a claim on March 20, 2020 they were greeted with this message: "Unemployment Registration is currently experiencing high user load and may be slow, unresponsive, or down."
Screen capture: montanaworks.gov March 20, 2020, 6:35 p.m.

More than 17,000 new claims for unemployment benefits have been filed in Montana since new regulations took effect last week that expand eligibility to workers impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

An average of 2,100 people a day in the state filed for unemployment from March 17 through March 24.

Glacier County Courthouse in Cut Bank, Montana.
By J.B. Chandler (CC-BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19654909)

Glacier County will temporarily lay off half of its workforce for 30 days in order to keep the county’s books balanced. The layoffs begin today. The county, which has long-standing financial troubles, decided to lay off workers now because it was already reducing staff due to the coronavirus outbreak.

When Montanans went to the state’s unemployment website to file a claim on March 20, 2020 they were greeted with this message: "Unemployment Registration is currently experiencing high user load and may be slow, unresponsive, or down."
Screen capture: montanaworks.gov March 20, 2020, 6:35 p.m.

When Montanans go to the state’s unemployment website to file a claim they’re greeted with this message: "Unemployment Registration is currently experiencing high user load and may be slow, unresponsive, or down."

More than 2,800 people in Montana signed up for unemployment Wednesday following changes to regulations that allow some workers impacted by the novel coronavirus to use the social benefit.

Many Montana companies are struggling to find suitable workers to fill job openings. Researchers and industry experts at a seminar in Bozeman Wednesday say there aren’t enough skilled applicants. But educators say they see opportunities in more apprenticeships.

Montana saw wage growth in 2019, but an economic slowdown is expected in coming years, according to University of Montana researchers. The Bureau of Business and Economic Research released its annual outlook Tuesday in Helena.

Midsize cities in the western U.S. are facing a housing crunch. 

U.S. Census hiring week kicked off Monday. Across the country that means the launch of targeted television ads and posters aimed at getting people to apply for the half a million temporary jobs the Census Bureau needs to fill before next spring.

Now Hiring: MTPR News Director

Oct 21, 2019

We're looking for an energetic and experienced leader for our award-winning newsroom.

The station has a 54-year history of excellent journalism. The news director produces daily news stories for broadcast and digital platforms. Additionally, they assist and guide the news department in creating timely public affairs and news-oriented podcasts.


A recent news article found that parts of Montana with more people who were not born in the state have higher job growth. Eric Dietrich wrote the story for Montana Free Press as one of the state’s only data reporters. He spoke with YPR News' Jess Sheldahl about how he takes data and turns it into stories for the Long Streets Project.

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