Here's how unemployment in Prairie County, Montana compares

Written by:
December 11, 2023

Here's how unemployment in Prairie County, Montana compares

Prairie County's unemployment rate in December was 3.1%—ranked #47 highest out of 56 in the state.

Nationally, unemployment has leveled with pre-COVID rates, measuring between 3.5% and 4% for most of the past two years. Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed a 3.7% unemployment rate in January. Previously, unemployment skyrocketed to 14.7% at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, and those rates remained elevated through late 2021.

Though national unemployment has mostly normalized, local economies vary widely. Stacker used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to analyze unemployment in Prairie County over time, and how it stacks up within Montana and across the nation.

The unemployment rate in Prairie County is 0.6 percentage points below the national level, and 0.1 percentage points below the state level. It ranks #47 among counties in Montana—ranked first by the preliminary December 2023 unemployment rate, then breaking ties by the number of unemployed people. It trails behind Liberty County, which also has an unemployment rate of 3.1%, but surpasses Stillwater County (3.0%).

In real terms, it means an estimated 21 of Prairie County's approximately 685 working residents are out of a job at the moment. That's 5 more than last month and 4 more than a year ago. Some economists fret another recession may be on the horizon, which would drive unemployment up with business closures and layoffs.

This story was produced using automation across 3,100 counties, boroughs, and parishes, based on writing and data reporting by Paxtyn Merten.

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