Gov. Bullock & Commissioner Bucy present Labor Day Report

8-31-13

Gov. Steve Bullock listens while Commission of Labor Pam Bucy presents the Labor Day Report.
MEA-MFT member-leaders, staff, and others listen to good news from the report.

 

“Labor Day is much more than a three-day holiday weekend,” said Governor Steve Bullock today.

 

“It’s a time to celebrate the contributions that every working Montanan, past and present, has made. … It’s a time to celebrate all the work that’s gone before us and all that we have left to do.”

 

Speaking at a news conference at the state capitol, Governor Bullock and Commissioner of Labor Pam Bucy presented the 2013 Labor Day Report to the working people of Montana.

 

It’s a report full of good news.

 

Joined by leaders and staff of MEA-MFT and other union folks, Bullock said, “I’m proud that Montana has weathered and recovered from the recession better than the rest of the nation. Our unemployment rate has consistently outperformed other states, and our workforce shows high rates of educational attainment, income growth, and increasing job opportunities.”

 

Key findings from the report include the following:

  • Montana added 10,700 jobs in 2012 at a growth rate of 2.3 percent – faster than national job growth and faster than expectations.
     
  • Private sector wage growth in Montana increased by 4.2 percent in 2012 – the second fastest wage growth in the nation.
     
  • 96 percent of Montana’s labor force has a high school diploma, ranking Montana 4th best among the states.

Bullock cited education as one of the top factors in job growth. The higher the level of education Montanans achieve, the more they earn and the more they invest back into the economy, he said. “I’ve made education my top priority.”

 

He also credited the workers of Montana. “Montana has some of the hardest workers and strongest work ethics in the nation,” he said.

 

While the report bears good tidings, Bullock emphasized that there is “much work to do.” Unemployment on Indian reservations is far higher than elsewhere in Montana, women still earn less than men in the same jobs, and the workforce is aging and retiring.

 

The health care industry is one of the fastest-growing job producers, the report shows. Bullock pointed out that Montana would have seen thousands more jobs in that industry if the 2013 Legislature had “done the right thing and passed Medicaid expansion.”

 

Read the full Labor Day Report here:

http://www.ourfactsyourfuture.org/admin/uploadedPublications/5314_LDR-13.pdf
 

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