- Associated Press - Monday, March 11, 2019

HELENA, Mont. (AP) - Montana’s unemployment rate increased slightly to 3.8 percent in January, with state officials saying the likely cause is the federal government shutdown.

Montana’s jobless rate is still lower than the national rate of 4 percent.

Gov. Steve Bullock said in a statement Monday the partial government shutdown negatively impacted the state’s economic growth and the federal workers who had to go without paychecks.

Department of Labor and Industry officials also found that 2018 employment grew by .8 percent, or 4,250 jobs, which is a slightly lower rate than past years.

State officials say that may reflect that businesses are struggling to find workers.

The lowest unemployment rate was recorded in McCone County, at 2.3 percent. The highest was Lincoln Count’s 11.1 percent.

Among the state’s reservations, the Northern Cheyenne had the highest rate at 16.1 percent.

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