Together with the Montana Department of Labor & Industry (DLI), Governor Greg Gianforte today announced Montana is a national leader in employment growth in the construction sector, growing 12.3% between February 2020 and February 2022.
“A thriving construction sector is critical to Montana’s growing economy. That’s why we’ve prioritized investing in the trades and increasing apprenticeship opportunities to empower Montanans with in-demand skills,” Gov. Gianforte said. “We’ll continue this momentum so we can ramp up housing capacity, get fiber in the ground, and modernize Montana’s water and sewer infrastructure.”
Data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics this month shows that 34,700 Montanans were employed in the construction sector in February, up from 30,900 in February of 2020. Over 80% of this growth has taken place since the governor’s first full month in office.
Montana’s rate of growth in construction-sector employment only trails Idaho’s, and comes as 18 states and the District of Columbia are still below their pre-pandemic construction employment levels.
“The strong growth in Montana’s construction sector highlights the success of the pro-job policies of the governor’s first year in office and reiterates the importance of apprenticeships, rapid retraining efforts, skills-based learning and Career and Technical Education,” Montana Commissioner of Labor & Industry Laurie Esau said. “Growing our construction workforce and helping employers meet their needs will continue to be a top priority for the future.”
Since taking office, Gov. Gianforte has prioritized workforce development in critical industries like construction, making targeted investments in trades education, rapid workforce retraining, Career and Technical Education, and apprenticeships. Working with DLI, the governor is also building public-private partnerships to close the skilled labor gap.
Montana’s statewide unemployment rate of 2.6% in February is an all-time low and the fifth-lowest in the nation.