Montana's unemployment rate drops to 4.4 percent in January


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HELENA, Montana — Montana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 4.4 percent in January.

The state Labor Department says the rate dropped from 4.5 percent in December and is down from 5.3 percent in January 2014.

Labor Commissioner Pam Bucy says Montana's total employment increased by 3,230 jobs in January, including 300 payroll jobs. The total jobs number also includes agricultural and self-employed workers.

Montana's labor force is just under 519,000 workers with nearly 496,000 employed. Just over 23,000 people are looking for work.

The national unemployment rate was up slightly to 5.7 percent in January.

The Consumer Price Index fell sharply for the third straight month in January, declining by 0.7 percent because of a drop in energy prices.

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